How to make the best first-impression at an interview

BY Greg Anyon · PUBLISHED August 28, 2018

You never get a second chance to make the best first impression. Think about that. It’s a load of crap, right? You meet someone for the first time. You get chatting. Maybe half an hour goes past. And then at some point you decide what you think about them, right? Wrong! Human beings will decide on what they think of someone in seconds, and often without even hearing them speak! People make judgements, based on the way someone’s dressed. How they carry themselves. Their personal hygiene. How they speak. Everything we see and hear is judge-worthy and we do it in the blink of an eye. At a job interview, magnify the scrutiny by 100 times! You’re under an electron-microscope and the recruiter knows what they’re looking for. The more unlike the picture of the perfect candidate you are, the more quickly they put crosses in your boxes. So, how do you make the best first impression?


  1. Dress as smartly as you can. Make sure your shoes are clean. Eat a mint. Turn off your phone and put it away.


  1. When you’re sat in reception, relax. Breathe. This is the time to feel confident, especially if you’ve prepared well. If their latest financial report is on the coffee table, read it. The information might be useful.


  1. Before you go, practice your handshake. Get a bunch of friends to shake hands with you. Then, when you meet the interviewer, Mirror the pressure of their handshake, not stronger or weaker.


  1. Look them in the eye when you shake their hand.


  1. Rehearse what you’re going to say: “Hi Jim, I’m Natalie. What a pleasure to meet you”. Make it sound genuine. Throw in an observation about the environment if it’s worth it: “It must be great turning up to work at a building as cool as this every morning”. You’re breaking the ice.


  1. They’re going to make small talk to get you relaxed: “How was your journey?” Be pleasant, but keep it brief: “It was fine thanks – the sunshine helped!”


Phew – first impression made!