How to Establish a Great First Impression

You’re walking into an interview and you want to make a great first impression. After all, getting this interview wasn’t an easy task. You go over last minute preparation in your head, reminding yourself of your firm handshake and taking a few deep breaths to relax. You walk in, mumble your name, butcher the person’s name you’re interviewing with, and then help yourself to a seat in the lobby as you scroll through your phone waiting. You’re in good shape, right? WRONG! You completely forgot about your demeanor as you casually walked in slumped over with your head down into the office. That employee at the front desk who you mumbled your name to and didn’t give the time of day has already established their first impression of you, and don’t think they’re not going to share this with your interviewer.

Your first impression starts the minute you step out of your car. Everyone you encounter along the way matters, including any front office support. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking to establish a great first impression from the beginning.

Be courteous. This goes for every single person that you encounter on your visit. This should take you back to kindergarten, but remember your P’s & Q’s. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversation either. I welcome it! It may even help get you relaxed a bit. Another note of advice – first impressions aren’t just made in person. When you’re calling a place of potential employment, it is wise to be kind and courteous on the phone (and through any other means of communication) as well. Don’t let your rude attitude get you off on the wrong foot before you even step foot in the door!

Be focused. Remember the reason you are there. Don’t spend the time waiting in the lobby on your phone scrolling through Facebook or texting. Get your head in the game! This comes across that you may not be that interested in the role or that you aren’t fully committed to learning about the opportunity. This should go without saying, but definitely don’t take a phone call while you’re waiting, or even worse, don’t have your phone going off in the interview room. Make sure that your phone is on silent! Notice I said silent not wiggle, aka vibrate. Those settings still make noise.

Be professional. From your conversation style to your attire, make sure you are professional. Again, I feel like this should go without saying, but you’d be surprised at some of the things I see! Please do not use any slang or profanity in conversation you strike up. I’m too old to know what the kids are saying these days, but if any words such as ‘on fleek,’ ‘dope,’ or ‘on point’ are in your daily vocabulary, I’d ditch them immediately – like totes for sure for sure.

With any job interview, make sure you are dressed to impress. Dress for the position you want; not the position you have. Even if you know the work environment is more casual, I always recommend wearing a suit to your first interview. It’s better to be over dressed than under dressed. Whatever you do, make sure you’re totes adorbs.

In short, just make sure you are cognizant of your actions. Just remember your interview starts way before the first question from the interviewer. Showing rudeness, disinterest, or even going as far as being demeaning in nature to those you meet at the front desk is not going to get you anywhere.

Kayla Hansen

Kayla Hansen joined Aureus Group in January 2012 where she started as a Recruiter for the accounting and finance division. Currently she serves as the Operations Assistant supporting all divisions within Aureus Group. Kayla has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from Wayne State College. She and her husband, Jason, recently added to their family. Like most busy parents, Knox occupies her free time but when time allows, she loves attending concerts, various sporting events, and loves DIY projects. Kayla is an active Wish Granter and a member of the Young Leaders Committee through Make-A-Wish of Nebraska. She really values the time spent enhancing the lives of wish families throughout the organization.


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