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GET THAT JOB: 3 tips to making a killer first impression

Making a good first impression is crucial to success. If you have any doubts this is true, imagine meeting your partner’s parents for the first time while wearing your favourite dinosaur pyjamas. Oddly enough, you may find yourself struggling to win their approval.

When it comes to the professional environment, first impressions are everything. You’ve got one shot (and about 7 seconds) to get it right, so give yourself the best chance by following these three tips.

First things first, look the part

Convincing an interviewer that you are the perfect match for the role doesn’t always mean wearing a suit. In fact, if you’re interviewing for a cool software startup, wearing a suit could have the opposite effect, and end up making you look wildly out of touch.

Google the company to assess the environment and the employees before you choose your outfit. If they seem super casual, opt for a smart/casual look to make sure you fit in but still respect the importance of the meeting. (Think jeans and a blazer.) If they look ultra corporate, shoot for the stars with your most impressive tailored getup. It’s also a good idea to drink your tea/coffee before leaving for the interview, just in case you end up wearing it.

Make sure to get plenty of sleep beforehand so that you appear rested and relaxed. Do not decide that the night before is a good night to celebrate your future career. Nothing says ‘please hire me’ quite like bloodshot eyes and the powerful scent of tequila.

Get the timing right

Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview punctually; that way, you’ve demonstrated your time management skills before even opening your mouth. Planning your route and transport the night before will save you from any unwelcome surprises.

Being too early, however, can be just as much of a blunder as being late. Most hiring managers have busy schedules, and hearing that you’ve arrived half an hour (or more) before you’re due for your meeting puts them under unnecessary pressure.

Aim to arrive 5-10 minutes before your interview. Just enough time to scope out the environment and take several deep breaths to prepare yourself. Ahhh.

Shake it out

The best handshake is one where you make a good amount of eye contact, smile confidently, and shake firmly (2 – 3 pumps only).

Firm is good – nobody wants to shake a limp noodle, after all – but this is not a test of your strength. Avoid doing any lasting damage to the interviewer with an excessive show of dominance.

You’ve got this!

Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to showing your future employer that you’re the perfect candidate for the job. For more tips and expert advice from top recruiters, visit

AuthorWritten byEmma Jones
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