How to make a good first impression

We hear it all the time: first impressions matter. But when it comes to job hunting, they matter more than ever. Whether it’s a formal interview or an informal meet-and-greet, the first impression that you make with a potential employer holds the power to determine your future. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind:

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  1. Arrive early. Don’t get snared by a traffic jam, confusing directions, or a hard-to-find location.
  2. Present yourself on time. After you’re sure you’ve found the spot, wait until the meeting time to present yourself. Interviewees don’t want to be rushed into an early meeting.
  3. Be confident. You deserve to be there.
  4. Be humble. A lot of other people deserve to be there, too.
  5. Relax. Be yourself! Trying too hard to impress people can backfire.
  6. Connect. Don’t be psyched out by the organization that the interviewees represent; connect with them as individuals.
  7. Speak clearly. In tone and in content, aim for clarity.
  8. Be enthusiastic. Organizations want passionate people who aim to make a difference.
  9. Be memorable. Don’t force it, but mention something unique about yourself if there’s a natural place in the conversation.
  10. Follow up. Send an email to thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your enthusiasm.