By Debra Johnson
I know it is an old saying, but making a good first impression is absolutely vital. There have been studies done and books written about how the human brain can make a decision about a people within five seconds of seeing them. Five seconds. That is how long you have to make a great impression on your interviewer. But what does it take to make a good first impression? Well, here are a few simple tips:
- Keep it simple – You don’t want to overwhelm people. That can mean anything from the tone of your interview answers to the layout of your portfolio, or even the color of your clothing. Simple is better, because then they can focus on what is important and not get distracted by frivolities. Like showing a house for sale that is cluttered versus one that is clean; you have to clear the way for interviewers to see things the right way.
- Don’t be too simple – Now, you can go too far. When things are barren or too plain they can seem cold. A plain white portfolio, a boring beige outfit, or interview answers given in monotone all gives the wrong (or no) impression. You don’t want to be forgotten, after all.
- Make it personal – This is your goal, to be remembered in a positive way. What better way to do that then to be yourself? You are a unique individual. That doesn’t mean you overwhelm the interviewer with your personality or tastes, but let them see a glimpse and feel like you are real.
- Be practical – Interviewers want to know that you can do the job. Don’t get caught up in the details and forget about that. Focus on the practical first and then move onto the pretty. Sometimes we forget how important it is to have a solid foundation. Interviewers will know when you’re teetering and when you are confident, so be confident!
- Be happy – If you don’t love what you do, then why would they want to hire you? Smile, be upbeat, and remember why you applied for this. I know we all have bad days, but in business you have to stay up. Smile and you will make yourself feel better inside as well.
Like I said, you only have a few seconds to make a great first impression. Take a look at what you’ve been doing and see if you can make some improvements. Above all, if you are confident in your strengths and love what you do, then your interviewers will see that.
Debra Johnson is a blogger and editor of nanny babysitter. One of Debra's interest is helping recent grads succeed in the business world.