Impressions at Interviews

Critical Impressions

Impressions formed during the first two to six minutes of the interview are seldom changed during the remaining 30 to 60 minutes of the interview. Many people still believe the best qualified person always gets the job. Keep in mind that individuals invited to an interview have generally already been screened for basic job qualifications. It is critical that you make a good impression . The individual who convinces the interviewer that he or she is the most qualified gets the job.

Creating a positive first impression

  • Dress conservatively
  • Arrive early, but not more than 15 minutes early.
  • If the interviewer comes out to meet you, walk over and shake his/her hand firmly.
  • Be polite. Show respect to everyone you meet, including the receptionist or prospective coworker. You don’t know who will be included in the hiring decision.
  • Show interest in the interview, sincerity, tact, courtesy. Don’t flaunt your preparation.
  • Don’t call the interviewer by his/her first name.
  • Be on time.
  • Don’t slouch, yawn, smoke or chew gum.
  • Go alone, not with a friend.
  • Be sure to turn off your cell phone.
  • Bring a copy of your resumé, references, pen and notebook.

Important Nonverbal Behaviors

  • Sit with a slight lean toward the interviewer. It communicates interest in what the interviewer is saying
  • Make eye contact frequently, but don’t overdo it. You will be perceived as more trustworthy and interested if you look at the interviewer as you ask and answer questions.
  • Smile. You should smile enough to convey your positive attitude, but not so much that you will not be taken seriously.
  • Communicate interest and enthusiasm through your vocal inflections.
  • Give positive nonverbal feedback to the interviewer. Nod in agreement occasionally if you agree, and smile occasionally if appropriate. Most people like to receive positive responses from others.

Selling Yourself During The Interview

  • Know your qualifications and abilities. Present them briefly and clearly during the interview.
  • Learn as much as possible about the company ahead of time.
  • If you notice you are acting nervous, don’t overreact.
  • Answer questions accurately and honestly.
  • Be able to give a record of your jobs, dates of employment, nature of work and reasons you left.
  • Think about the interviewer and try to respond to his/her concerns.
  • Don’t talk too much. Do not bluff or exaggerate.
  • Avoid mention of personal, domestic or financial troubles.
  • Be careful to not criticize others, especially past employers and associates.
  • Thank the employer when you leave.