When you go to an interview, a first impression will have a lasting impact on whether you get the job or not. It can be challenging to make sure that your first impression is a good one. We all know it’s a good idea to study and prepare before the interview, but here are a few extra tips suggested by TheLadders to help you make a great first impression.

1. Dress the part.
You should always be dressing for the job you want, which should be the job you are interviewing for. If you’re not sure of how to dress, business-casual is always a good option. Also, make sure that your hair is brushed, your breath is minty fresh, your nails are clean, etc. These are all things that will be considered when it comes to a first impression.

2. Be punctual.
You want to show up to your interview on time. This means arrive about fifteen minutes early. This will set the impression that you are punctual and prepared for the interview, as well as give yourself a time to sit down and collect your thoughts.

3. Shake hands.
Acknowledge the interviewer by shaking their hand. Offer a firm grasp, as well as exchange those first greetings. If the interviewer doesn’t extend their hand first for a handshake, don’t worry – extend yours anyway, and let them follow.

4. Be prepared.
Set yourself up for success by preparing in advance. Do you research and show up with an understanding of the company and what they do. Also, prepare questions that you’d like answered. This will help show your interest in the company and position.

5. Be kind to everyone.
Remember when interviewing you are not just trying to impress the interviewer. You should also be courteous with all company employees. This means the parking attendant, secretary, security officers, or anyone else you may meet along the way. You never know who is watching!

6. Draw connections.
Start off the interview on a good foot by finding common ground with the interviewer. It doesn’t have to be a major connection, but some small commonality will help put you both in the right frame of mind.

7. Speak confidently.
Try to avoid words like “um”, “like”, and “uh” during an interview. Instead if you are having trouble responding to a question there are tactics you can utilize to buy some time and help you collect your thoughts. Try repeating the question to yourself, ask for a glass of water, or ask a question of your own.

8. Know the interviewer.
Often times in your pre-interview with a recruiter you are told who will be conducting your formal interview. Use this knowledge to your advantage and come in to the interview knowing your interviewer’s name and any articles they have published, or success they have achieved. This will win you points in the first impression.

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