The answer to that question is, YES! First impressions absolutely matter. It could be the difference between landing your dream job and not even getting an opportunity to interview at all. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Do it right the first time. Here are some simple tips and tricks you can follow.

When interviewing there can be many steps to the hiring process. For example, there could be a phone interview, the initial interview with Human Resources, and finally the interview with the hiring manager. At every point during your interview you need to be prepared and prepared to make that first impression.

During a phone interview, don’t eat, drink or chew gum while you’re on the phone. It’s true the interviewer won’t see you doing those things but they can hear it on the other side of the phone and it’s very distracting. Plus, you want to make sure your answers to the questions they are asking are heard clearly and are easily understood. Chances are, the interviewer is jotting notes down for Human Resources or the hiring manager. You want to make sure they get the right answers written down. Find a quiet place that you won’t get interrupted on the phone. Avoid background noises and don’t drive while you’re having a phone interview. You want to make sure you focus on the interview.

If you pass the phone interview. Excellent! The next step might be to meet with a Human Resources representative, recruiter or the hiring manager. That means you actually have to get dressed and comb your hair for this interview. Make sure you are dressed in appropriate interview attire. That means NO, flip flops, shorts, jeans, or anything you would wear to the beach or out to the bars. Make sure it’s a suit, black or navy. No bright, intense colors, or gaudy jewelry. Trust me, less or simple is more. Don’t smoke or layer on tons of perfume right before the interview. It will distract the interviewer right away. Take plenty copies of your resume with you and also the name of the person you are interviewing with. You might have to check in at a front office or receptionist desk. Nothing less impressive then not knowing who you are seeing for an interview. Do not take anyone with you to your interview. They don’t need to be there, bottom line. Last, we all know that interviews take time and sometimes you have to wait. This could make you restless or anxious. You may want to play with your phone or listen to music. This is a BIG no no! Leave that cell phone in your car. You will not need it for the interview. The last thing you need is be on the phone talking to your best friend and telling them how upset you are because you are waiting. Then, someone, maybe the manager or the manager that will interview you walks through the lobby at the same time you are saying that. Not a very good first impression. You never know who has a say in the hiring process.

Make sure your courteous and kind to everyone when you at an (before, during, and after) interview.
Be authentic, genuine and enthusiastic about the job and in the interview. A good first impression will make a lasting impression. That’s what you want to land that dream job.

Angela Cotto

Career Coach

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