5 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression in Your Job Interview


Preparing for a job interview requires you to research, practice and prepare. However, before you ever get a chance to show off that preparation, your interviewer will have already judged you based on their first impressions. You only get one shot at making a great impression, so stay focused on these five tips to start things off on the right note.

Arrive Early

You’ve heard this advice thousands of times, but it is worth repeating. Leave earlier than you think you need to, check traffic, print out directions just in case and make sure you have critical information like building number, suite number, etc. If you hit an unforeseen snag and you might be late, call right away rather than offering excuses for showing up past the start time.

Dress Up

Despite the recent mass adoption of casual dress codes, it’s important to dress up for an interview. Even if you know for a fact the dress code is casual, you should look your best. Dressing up and looking clean and pressed shows that you care about the job and that you take yourself – and the opportunity – seriously.

Be Nice

Treat the front desk attendant with the same respect you’d treat the CEO. Not only is it just the right thing to do, but it can impact your chances of getting the job. Many hiring managers ask front desk staff how you acted in the waiting area. Remember that you are on stage the minute you walk through the door.

Turn Your Phone Off

As soon as you are checked in to the building, turn your phone off. In the waiting area, use the time to look over your resume and think about the points you want to convey in the interview. You don’t want to be caught fumbling to shut down Instagram when they call you back, and you don’t want your phone buzzing while you are in the interview.

Stay Organized

Don’t bring an overstuffed briefcase or backpack. Remove everything from your bag except for printed copies of your resume, your portfolio or work samples, one or two pens and a list of questions you’d like to ask. All of these items should be easily accessible so you aren’t digging around for things, which makes you look disorganized.

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