6 Tips to Nail Your 30-Second First Impression


It’s vital when you go to interview to make the best first impression you possibly can. The interviewer only has one chance to form an opinion of you and you need to make sure it’s a good one. How can you impress in the first 30 seconds? Here are some top tips from the Graduate Recruitment Bureau to help you come across as the perfect candidate.

1. Eye-contact

This can feel awkward but you need to make sure that when you meet your interviewer you look them in the eye as much as you can. Obviously don’t stare unblinkingly (they probably won’t like that) but make sure you make the connection. It’s easy to forget and stare at the floor or the wall but you need to be aware of this because it will make you look as if you’re not engaging.

2. Walk tall

You need to make sure your body language exudes the confidence of someone who believes they will get the job. Stand up straight with your shoulders back – no slouching! Keep your body language open and friendly. Arm folding is a no-no and when you’re standing/sitting waiting don’t pace or shuffle nervously. Remember you are calm and cool and you can get this job!

3. Get the handshake right

The handshake is the universal sign for politeness and professionalism so you need to get it right. Keep it firm, not too firm though – you don’t want to crush any fingers – and two shakes should be enough. Lean in for the handshake and step back when it’s done. If you’re worried you’re going to have sweaty hands (it happens) then keep a tissue in your pocket it and give it a quick squeeze before the handshake.

4. Talk the talk

When you meet the interviewer for the first time, introduce yourself. Yes, they (hopefully) already know who you are but if you introduce yourself it makes you look confident and prepared. It also means that you can avoid any awkward discussion about the weather or your journey there. Make sure you speak clearly as well, don’t mumble.

5. Dress to Impress

You have to look the part when you show up for interview. It’s irrelevant whether everyone there is in a suit or whether they’re lounging round the office in surf shorts. You have not yet earned your place there so you must dress smartly to show the interviewer that this job is important enough for you to have made an effort.

6. Smile

Last but not least, try and look like you’re not having one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of your young life. Smiling will open up your face and make you look much more approachable and friendly. Believe it or not, if you smile for long enough you’ll start to feel genuinely more relaxed as well.

About the Author: Frankie Pocock is an online researcher and marketing assistant at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau.

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