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Tips for Making a Positive First Impression

How to create a confident, and professional first impression before the interview starts.

  • Presenting a professional appearance isn’t just about the clothes you wear to the interview. It is your posture, body language, cleanliness, and overall demeanor.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the occasion. Avoid overpowering fragrances or wearing a lot of jewelry.
  • Walking with your head parallel to the surface presents a confident, professional posture.
  • Making eye contact during a conversation shows that you’re willing to give your interviewer your undivided attention and that you’re physically and mentally present.
  • Having a firm handshake shows confidence and attentiveness, avoid extending a limp hand for a handshake.
  • Many people tend to talk faster than normal or fidget when nervous – keep this in mind and practice speaking slowly and clearly to avoid fumbling over words and sitting still in an interview.
  • Take a deep breath – interviewing can be stressful. Try to relax, think about displaying positive body language and a professional presence.
  • Never interrupt the interviewer. Wait until the interviewer has stopped speaking before you address their question.
  • Remember names. Make an attempt to naturally use their name in a sentence, this way it will be easier to remember down the line.
  • While meeting a new person, it’s a general rule of thumb to use their body language as a guide for your own. Mirroring a person’s body language creates an approachable version of yourself for the person you are speaking with. While doing this, try to avoid “closed” body positions. For example, crossing your arms, slouching or looking down are “closed” body positions.
  • Leave the coffee/water/tea outside. The fewer things in your hands the better when you’re making an impression. Instead of fumbling to switch which hand your drink is in, or finding a place to put it you’ll have a smooth introduction and handshake.
  • Don’t get too comfortable. Be your natural self, but at the same time convey a professional demeanor. Avoid using profanity or making inappropriate jokes.
  • Stay positive, and smile. A good attitude and a friendly smile can go a long way in creating a lasting first impression. 
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