Lasting First Impressions

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In an economy that currently has the lowest unemployment rate in many years, it is very important to put your best foot forward when going for a job interview.  If this is your very first job out of high school or college you know how important first impressions are for being considered for that position.  Typically you have approximately seven seconds to make that good first impression.  Seven seconds doesn’t seem that long, but a seasoned interviewer knows within that time frame so it is important to nail the interview and be remembered by doing the following:

Dress appropriately for the interview (ask when setting up the interview, if you are unsure, what is the dress code?) it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.  For example:  Females: If you are interviewing for an office position it would be appropriate to wear a dress with sleeves or a sundress with a sweater or jacket; a nice pair of dress pants with an appropriate shirt; or a skirt with appropriate shirt.  Wear nice dress shoes or sandals during summer but no flip flops or sneakers.  Males: If you are interviewing for an office position it would be appropriate to wear a nice pair of dress pants and a collar shirt and nice shoes, no open toe sandals or sneakers.  (Females and Males)If you are interviewing for a factory or industrial type position it would be appropriate to wear a nice clean pair of jeans and a collar shirt or t-shirt with no writing on it.  Also, wear closed toe shoes in case they take you on a tour of the facility.

It is a fact, even though many say it isn’t, but you will be judged on your appearance in the seven seconds so make sure nothing negative could sway the interviewer.  If you have extreme facial piercings and/or tattoos remove the piercings and cover tattoos with long sleeves or buttoned up shirts.  Some businesses do not mind, but that is something you can ask about during the interview process.

Smile (nothing forced or fake) when greeted and give them a firm handshake.  The handshake should be somewhere between a tight squeeze and a limp stroke.

Introduce yourself even though you think they already know your name.  It often times breaks the tension because they will then say their name.

Speak clearly in a confident manner, not a high pitch voice or loud voice level.

Maintain eye contact. Don’t stare and make the person feel uncomfortable, but hold the interviewer’s eye for at least three seconds at a time through the interview.  You don’t have to answer all questions quickly, take a minute to think and process your answer before speaking.

This may be a lot to remember and if put into practice will give you a greater opportunity of being selected for the job.

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