5 Tips for Making a Great First Impression

business-handshakeYou got the interview! Now what? The nerves you are feeling are ok, there’s a good chance you will be asked a few tricky questions. Stay calm, showcase your skills, and utilize these 5 tips to make the best impression possible.

1. Dress for Success

It is said that it only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. Meaning that often times, before you even have a chance to speak, an opinion is being formulated about who you are and what you can bring to the table. As shallow as this may seem, it is human nature. Interviews are all about presenting yourself in the best light. Clean nails, subtle or no fragrance, combed/neat hair, and subtle jewelry are always good rules but really make sure to dress for the position. Dress to impress and make sure you look the part.

2. Shake hands

A good handshake is a work of art. It needs to say “I am a confident professional” and not “I’m a sweaty and nervous wreck.” Getting it just right is an art. Even if the interviewer doesn’t initially extend their hand, make the first move. Also, remember if there are multiple people interviewing you, shake every single person’s hand. The interview is the last place you want to offend anyone.

3. Avoid Over-talking

While interviews are nerve-racking and can bring about nervous chatter, resist the urge. If the answer to their question is escaping you, try repeating the question before answering to buy yourself a little time.  Don’t overcompensate by trying to sound “too” intelligent and risk sounding arrogant, this is frowned upon. It’s better to be polite and say “I don’t know,” then pretend and seem insincere.

4. Eye Contact, Eye Contact, Eye Contact

Have I stressed the importance enough? Eye contact is key in nonverbal communication. Without it, you can be perceived as sneaky, rude, and lacking the confidence necessary for the job at hand. Connect with the interviewer during your introduction, handshake, and interview. However, don’t be too intense, we don’t want to scare the interviewer. Try maintaining eye contact for at least 3 seconds before you break hold.

5. Say Thank You

When the nerves have passed, the questions have ended, and it’s almost time to get up and smell sweet freedom, don’t forget to thank the interviewers. It’s good interview etiquette to let them know that you are grateful for their time.  You can even follow-up with a thank you letter or email to remind them of your interest in the position.


Use these 5 tips to reinforce how amazing you are. You are perfect for the job, know that, feel that, harness that confidence, and bring it with you. Throw in these tips and breathe, the job you want is close to being yours.

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