First Impressions

“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”.

A very old and true saying that definitely relates to the interview. An employer’s first impression is formed by what they see and sense in you. If they don’t like what they see and sense, they may not hire you, regardless of your skills and abilities.

How do you form a good impression? Focus your attention on three basic things: appearance, attitude and manners.

Appearance

The way you dress has an effect on the interviewer’s initial impression of you. Remember, always appear polished and it’s best to err on the conservative side.
Follow these guidelines:

  • Skirted suit, knee length, in solid color (navy, dark gray, black) or light pinstripe, no extreme slits.
  • Polished and closed-toe shoes, basic dark pumps with medium or low heels.
  • Clutch or small shoulder bag, choose between an attaché case or handbag (not both).
  • Simple and basic jewelry. Nothing that dangles or is distracting.
  • Nails subtle color if polished, clean and not chipped.
  • Always wear hosiery and keep color neutral.
  • Make-up should be minimal.
  • Light perfume, if any.
  • Navy, charcoal gray or black suit.
  • Clean nails.
  • Conservative tie, simple, and neat.
  • Avoid flashy cuff links, rings or neck chains.
  • Over the calf dark socks.
  • No strong fragrant cologne.
  • Shined shoes. Tassel loafers, wing tip or lace shoes preferred.
  • No smoking nor chewing gum.
  • No cell phone.
  • One ring per hand.
  • Quality pen, portfolio, briefcase and extra copies of your resume and letters of reference.

 

Attitude

Your attitude makes a statement. If you act enthusiastic and eager, the impression is that you’re an enthusiastic and eager worker. If you act too timid or too quiet, it implies that you may need a lot of supervision. Some managers say that attitude can be even more important than experience.

 

Manners

Good manners are important. They show that you’re civilized and sociable. They show that you will represent the company well and work well with your colleagues. The first manner an employer will look for is punctuality; it is critical that you arrive on time to an interview!!