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5 Ways to Make a Good First Impression at a Job Interview

Posted by Heather Huhman

July 25, 2014
|3 min read

After weeks of applying for jobs and networking with recruiters, you’ve finally secured a job interview! Congrats!

However, not only is this the thought of an interview a little scary, but also you’re worried about making a memorable first impression.

As you prepare for your next job interview, here are five things you can do to make a memorable first impression:

1. Never underestimate the power of first impressions.

Memorable candidates realize first impressions happen within the first seven seconds of meeting a person.

As you apply for jobs and attend job interviews, be mindful of how you interact with people. Whether you’re sending an email to a recruiter or you’re meeting a hiring manager for the first time, do your best to make a positive first impression.

To stand out from other job seekers, make sure you are dressed professionally for any meeting or interview with the employer, show a genuine interest in the position, and your determination to land the job. It’s also important to be genuine during the interview process and let your best attributes shine through.

2. Be prepared for anything.

When entering a job interview, memorable candidates are prepared for almost any question and can think on the spot.

As you prepare for interviews, make sure you know your resume inside and out, have a portfolio containing your best work, and research the employer. You should also be prepared to answer ultimately any interview question and have a few questions yourself ready for the interviewer.

3. Ask smart questions.

Speaking of having questions prepared for a job interview, memorable candidates remember to ask thoughtful, well-researched questions during a job interview.

Consider asking questions such as “What does it take to be a top performer?” or “What do you hope I will accomplish in this position?” to show the interviewer you are determined to be one of their best employees. When you think about smart questions to ask, you’ll be more likely to stand out from the rest of the candidates during the interview process.

4. Present a project during the interview.

If you truly want to impress employers, create something that will truly set you apart from other candidates.

One way to do this is create a proposal for a project relative to the position you’re interviewing for. For example, if you’re applying for a web application developer position, create a mock-up version of a mobile app for the company. This is a unique way to show your skills and display to the employer your eagerness to land the position.

5. Send a handwritten thank you note.

Today’s workforce is consumed by sending emails, LinkedIn messages, and tweets. If you want to truly be a memorable candidate, send the hiring manager a handwritten thank you note after the interview. This is a thoughtful gesture because it shows the hiring manager you took the time to write a note and send it in the mail.

The best way to become a memorable candidate is to highlight what makes you unique and display your determination to land the job. Employers want to hire candidates who are excited about the job and display a genuine interest in working for their company. By following some of these tips, you’ll definitely make a memorable first impression and land the job you want.

What tips do you have for job seekers who wish to be a memorable candidate?


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