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The First Impression at a Job Interview

First impressions are formed within 7 to 30 seconds of meeting someone, according to various statistics, and these impressions tend to be lasting ones. Making the absolute best first impression is all about how you look and smell, body language, eye contact and the very first words out of your mouth. For the sake of the first impression, you need to go into an interview looking your all-out best, your confidence at an all-time high and with lots of planning to help you along.

Here are tips to help you score a great first impression.

  • Wear your best interview clothes and prepare them in advance. Send them to the cleaners if you need to, or at least press them and inspect them for loose threads, buttons and hems before getting dressed.
  • Shine your shoes.
  • Make sure accessories match.
  • If you smoke, do not do so on the way to an interview. The odor will linger.
  • If you drive a lemon that has an unpleasant odor to it, use another form of transportation to get to the interview. You want to arrive smelling clean.
  • Men should be clean shaven.
  • Women should wear at least a minimum of makeup such as foundation and lipstick, even if you never wear makeup.
  • Remove all piercings, except for earrings for women.
  • Don’t slump.
  • Stand tall, hold your head high, make eye contact and smile when you get to the interview site.
  • Be the first to offer a hand for a handshake and remember to do so firmly.
  • Prepare the first words you will say. Since the interviewer will already know your name, a great place to start is to thank him or her for the opportunity to meet and discuss the opening you are being considered for. You may also want to mention something about the company that has impressed you.

Lots of time and forethought goes into making that first impression. Practice with someone you trust and you will be ready to wow potential employers in no time.

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