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Your resume is polished. You’ve got the requisite skills. You’re armed with insightful questions. But none of that matters if you don’t make a good first impression on a job interviewer in the first five minutes.

It doesn’t take long for people to form an opinion about you — a few minutes, if not seconds. So, if you want to ace a job interview, be prepared to wow the interviewer from the very first moment you meet. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to making a great first impression:

DO: Be on time. This should go without saying, but it’s remarkable how many candidates still arrive late. If you’re worried about transit or other issues, then get there half an hour early and cool your heels at a nearby coffee shop.

DON’T: Hold onto your coffee. If you do pop into Starbucks, drink your coffee and throw away the cup before you enter the lobby. It’s distracting and makes you look a little less professional.

DO: Smile. It’s the most effective way of putting someone at ease. But make sure it’s genuine. Fake smiles don’t help at all.

DON’T: Look at your phone. As tempting as it is to read your emails or even play Candy Crush Saga while you wait, you’ll look less approachable if you’re hunched over your phone. Sit with an open, engaged posture.

DO: Shake twice, say names twice. It might sound old-fashioned, but a handshake really does say a lot about a person. So, shake hands firmly and pump twice. And when someone introduces themselves, repeat their name twice: “Mary, hello! It’s so nice to finally meet you, Mary.”


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