By DebbieH 12 Aug 2021 5 min read

Making a great first impression at an interview


If you’re heading for a job interview, you’ll want to make a great first impression. Why? Because great first impressions have a lasting effect on an employer when considering who suits the job.

When preparing for a job interview, you should think about everything that could work in your favour from the point of meeting the employer – not just the interview questions. If you’re not sure what else you should be preparing ahead of the big day, here are a few tips that may help you to impress your interviewer.


Dress for the job you want 

Dressing smart for work matters. For a job interview, you would dress professionally. A suit, a long fitted dress or smart pants are appropriate, however, your clothes should not be too tight, too revealing or too baggy as it can give the employer the impression that you don’t look after your appearance.

Choose your outfit the night before so you are prepared, and on the day of your interview, take a good look at yourself in the mirror – do you look smart? Are there any marks or rips in your clothing which can be easily noticed? If you are unsure, ask a friend or family member. 


Arrive on time!

This is probably one of the main points for ensuring you make a good first impression – be on time! 

If you are travelling to your interview by public transport, allow extra time your journey, in the event of delays. Aim to get to the place of the interview 10-15 minutes beforehand. If you arrive much earlier, it can be inconvenient for the person interviewing you. The employer may feel pressured to meet you earlier as a result of your arrival, so be considerate about meeting them on time. 

Running late? Most people are fine with this as long as you make them aware. However, if you simply show up late it could give off the impression that you aren’t taking the interview seriously. This can really affect your first impression, so you should do everything in your power to ensure you aren’t late.



Smiling is the easiest and quickest way to make a great first impression. Smile naturally, and make a point of coming across friendly. As they say, a smile goes a long way!


Make eye contact 

Failing to make eye contact seems like such a simple mistake – but it could suggest to an employer that you’re not engaging in conversation and you may not come across as confident – something many employers like to see.

Eye contact shows that you are paying attention and is a vital tactic you should use whenever you meet someone new. Strike a balance though – you don’t want to come across as intense.


Give a firm handshake

A firm handshake suggests confidence, so start as you mean to go on when meeting the person interviewing you. Additionally, if you are not already standing up when your employer walks in the room, make sure you do and always offer them a handshake.


And here’s a bonus tip…


Act interested

Eye contact certainly comes into play here, but the main thing to remember is to always appear interested in what the person across from you has to say. Avoid coming across as disengaged or bored. Instead, nod your head as you listen, and try to take in as much information as you can. A key tactic to use in order to improve your listening skills is to always convince yourself that the person has something very interesting to say. 

Showing that you are interested rubs off well on your audience, suggesting you are a good listener and we’ll engaged. Making notes can also make a good first impression as it shows that you are willing to learn about the business. This will make a good first impression.

If all goes well, and you make the effort to impress from the start, the job should be yours in no time! 



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