Bad interview first impressions – and how to avoid them

man talking on phone for first interview

Interviews can be nerve-wracking even without any unforeseen hiccups such as getting stuck in traffic or spilling coffee on your brand new suit. These can easily throw you off your A-game, causing you to lose concentration and give a bad first impression to your new potential employer.

First impressions can have a lasting impact on peoples' feeling about you as an employee, so the first 30 seconds of an interview are arguably the most important. The list of dos and don’ts for an interview can be tedious and never ending. As a leading recruitment specialist for thousands of UK market leading clients, we recommend the following tips to ensure you give a great first impression.

Dress to impress

Many hiring managers will form an opinion instantly from your appearance and how you carry yourself. How you appear to your interviewer is how you’ll be viewed by their clients too, so making sure you are dressed smart and professionally is the first step towards making your first impression count and winning your interviewer around. 

Consider looking into the company’s HR webpage to understand more about the type of business they run to give you an idea of what to wear. Not every employer is the same, so knowing what type of culture they have in the organisation will give you a step ahead of others in the running. 

Be on time

There is nothing worse than turning up to an interview late and without reasonable explanation. Being late shows the employer your lack of organisation and respect for others. This can be a reflection on your approach to the new opportunity in hand and can effectively jeopardise your chances of being invited back or even being interviewed at all. Avoid being late by setting alarms and arriving 15 minutes before the interview start time. First impressions can have a lasting impact on peoples' feeling about you as an employee, so the first 30 seconds of an interview are arguably the most important

Prepare for questions

Every job interview will vary, sales interview questions will not necessarily be the same as someone going for a job in finance, so you can’t prepare for all potential questions and some may catch you off guard. 

However there are some questions that are very popular among employers when screening potential candidates. By preparing confident answers to some of the more common interview questions you can really impress the interviewer as well as give yourself an advantage over other candidates. Learn about the seven most common killer interview questions asked here

Do your research 

Reinforce a good first impression by being prepared for the interview. Have a backlog of knowledge about the company including any recent press or news coverage to really emphasise your professionalism and interest in working for this company. Have questions ready to ask and impress them with areas of key interest to you. 

Being prepared is vital to give a good first impression, however, pitfalls can often be unavoidable, so being prepared for the worst is also important. The ability to move on and do your best despite anything unexpected can also show the potential employer your perseverance and dedication. By following the above tips you can achieve a great first interview impression.

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