How to Give a Great First Impression in an Interview

From the Desk of the First Impression Expert:

“The Receptionist”

You may think your interview starts as soon as you shake the hand of the interviewer, but you are wrong. It begins as soon as you get off of the elevator and make eye contact with the gatekeeper, more commonly known as the receptionist. Often times the interviewer will ask the receptionist, “What did you think of them?” in order to get a first impression. Here are a couple of simple tips to impress the receptionist, make an amazing first impression, and come off as your most confident self. Following these few simple tips will guarantee a positive review from the eyes of the company.

1. Be friendly! They don’t bite. Just because someone is behind a desk, in the wide open, and seems to be alienated from the company, doesn’t mean they aren’t a human being. Engage them as if you were already speaking to your interviewer. You can even have a great opening line! “Hi, I’m (State your name), and I’m here for an interview!” Voila! You’ve done it! You’re friendly!

2. Leave your overnight bag at home: Rifling through your bag and pulling out gum, a calculator, and a small woodland creature makes you look unorganized. Once again these are first impressions that the receptionist will recognize and possibly report back. It is important to come prepared with any paper work and copies of your resume easily at hand. Leave any unnecessary items in your car.

3. You are never interviewing with, “Ummmm let me check”: “Umm let me check” left the office in 2008 and she no longer works here. It’s simple; know the name of the person you are interviewing with. It seems so rude when you have to slowly check your email to see who you have been corresponding with. Check your email before you enter the building or write down the name of your interviewer so you have it ready when you arrive.

4. Make sure you are on time: Tardiness usually comes with excuses, which nobody wants to hear. Unless it happens to be a truly epic saga involving a bald eagle and Lorenzo Cain, they might want to tune in for that one

5. Stop grooming once you enter the building: Check yourself before you wreck yourself! When people are adjusting themselves in public by touching their hair, checking their teeth, adjusting their clothes, it tends to come off as unprofessional. You want to come across as confident when interviewing. If you must, arrive 10 minutes prior and go to the restroom before your interview. Arriving on time? – Which is 5 minutes before your interview by the way. While exiting your car, take one last look in your rear view mirror, give yourself a little wink and rock that interview!

By: Ellen Gude, Marketing Assistant