Use the “5 Second Rule” to Make a Great Interview Impression!

jennifer Bjorkman | June-27-11

How to make a great first impression interview

Here it comes! The big day you’ve been waiting for.... the dream job interview. You’ve written your resume and cover letter, and now’s the test of competing for the right fit in the organization.

But how do you make a good impression with your potential future employers in the first few moments of arriving? The old saying “first impressions count,” has stuck for a reason; however, new and even seasoned professionals, can sometimes become so anxious about the interview itself they forget to be alert during those pivotal minutes beforehand.

What advice do you have for other professionals wanting to make a good impression? Or, from an employer perspective, what’s the worst interview faux pas you’ve ever experienced?

Andrea Zuretti, Recruitment Coordinator at Triumvirate Environmental, shares her “5 Second Rule” for professionals to follow for making a positive impact, and avoid having their resumes tossed “like lint-covered food picked up from the floor.”

Check out her tips and share your own at the bottom!

  1. Mind your P’s and Q’s in the lobby while waiting for the interviewer.  Refrain from putting your feet up, lounging back on the couch, and taking a quick snooze before your meeting.                                                                                             
  2. Make sure your attire is appropriate for the job for which you are interviewing.  If you can’t present well with your attire for an interview, we will think that you might not be able to in front of clients or customers either.
  3. Be on time!  If you are five minutes late for the interview, we will think that you will be 5 minutes (or more) late for work every day.
  4. If someone walks by while you’re waiting, don’t avoid eye contact and play on your iPhone.  Say “Hello.”  You never know who that person could be.
  5. When the Interviewer comes to greet you in the lobby, be confident with your introduction of yourself.  First and last name always!  No limp handshakes and please, no sweaty palms if possible.
  6. There will always be small talk when heading to the interview room- How’s the traffic coming in?  How’s the weather outside?  Be polite and try to relate to the interviewer in some way by engaging in conversation.  No one wants to work with a boring person who never smiles.               
  7. Once you’ve finally made it to the interview room, make sure you have enough resumes and information for everyone involved in the interview process.  Please make sure the resume is not pink and it should never be scented.
  8. Organize everything ahead of time.  I have seen portfolios and brief cases that look like a bomb went off inside.  I will assume that your work space will look the same.
  9. You will usually be offered some sort of beverage to make you feel more comfortable.  Tea, coffee, water etc… If you are not interested, respectfully decline.  If you do take the drink, please refrain from slurping and gulping throughout the interview.
  10. Take a deep breath, and get ready to continue building on the positive impression you’ve begun to create in these first few seconds!

Original content posted on February 4, 2011, Triumvirate Environmental