The Significance of First Impressions

Never underestimate the significance of the first impression, especially in regard to interviews for employment opportunities.  It’s no myth that interviewers lean heavily on first impressions and several factors can impact their decision to move forward with you as a viable candidate.  If you believe you’re worthy of serious consideration as a potential employee, it’s important to be mindful of the following:


Schedule your interview appointment appropriately.

Plan to be there for a sufficient amount of time.  Try to avoid scheduling the interview right before any other important engagements.  It’s disrespectful and unprofessional to rush during an interview.  Most interviewers follow a procedure, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t omit any steps that could create any inconvenience for hiring managers.

Dress appropriately.

How you look and what you’re wearing should be considered nonverbal communication.  Your appearance is the first face-to-face communication you’ll have with an interviewer, so it will be the first thing interviewers assess.  Dress in a manner that’s professionally appropriate. It is rarely appropriate to “dress down” for an interview, regardless of company dress code policy or how you would dress on the job.  Dress neat, clean, and conservative.

Come prepared.

Be sure to complete any interview prerequisites that are asked of you.  These include forms, applications, assessments or tasks.  It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of your resume with you to the interview.  It should be current and include significant details such as employment dates and reference contact information.  Never make an interviewer wait for you while you scroll through your phone to find such information.

Be prompt.

In addition to being prepared, always be on time for your interview.  Being late will not only create major inconveniences for the interviewer, but also ruin your chances of being considered as a serious candidate.  Most hiring managers have zero tolerance for tardiness.

Maintain a good attitude/do not complain or express disappointment.

Many interviewers have a thorough process which all candidates are required to follow.  These interviewers have a legal responsibility to process applicants using the same procedure to ensure fairness.  Certain steps of a process can seem tedious or unimportant to outsiders.  Understand that procedures such as these are created to make efficient hiring decisions and lessen employee turnover.  If you’re serious about a desired position, it’s important to be patient with the process.  Not only is it insulting to complain, but it is indicative of how your attitude in the workplace could be.  Managers aren’t eager to hire someone who is seemingly uneager to work.

Use formal language (avoid being too casual).

The goal of an interview is to influence the interviewer to hire you.  Verbal communication is a catalyst for gaining this influence.  Although you want to have good rapport with an interviewer, it is important for your language not to get too relaxed or informal to the point of seeming unprofessional.  Controlling how well you present when you speak impacts the level at which you will be invited back for an employment offer.  

If you are interested in a detailed report of your own personalized Interviewing Insights, contact BRANNON PROFESSIONALS today! // 901.759.9622 or 662.349.9194