Let's Talk About Your First Impression
The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. If an interview is in-person, a large part of the interviewer's initial reaction to you will be based on your overall appearance and presentation, and that includes what you are wearing. It is very important to think carefully and dress appropriately for each and every job interview you go on.
At JobGiraffe, we ask every client we represent about their office atmosphere and dress code, and then we share that specific information with our candidates.
Here are some general guidelines you can use in any interview situation to help you make your best first impression.
What to wear? Do your research!
Have you researched the company where you are about to interview? Have you spent time on their website? Can you draw a conclusion about the office atmosphere and/or dress code based on the type of job or the firm's industry? Certain types of jobs and industries frequently require specific dress.
As you prepare for your first interview, select dress that is appropriate for both the type of job you'll be performing and for the overall atmosphere of the company itself; business formal, business casual, casual or are uniforms needed?
What NOT to bring with you on your first interview...
- Gum or candy - please do not think you can hide either in your mouth.
- Your cell phone - leave it in your bag or briefcase and make 100% certain it is either on airplane mode or silent mode.
- Tablets, laptops or other electronic devices unless the interview specifies you bring a device or you must have digital examples of your work available.
- Your own water, coffee or soda - do not walk into an interview and place your Starbucks cup on the interviewer's desk or table.
Three final tips on preparing for your first interview...
- Make sure you research the Client Company across multiple platforms (don't just look at their website) and formulate questions or comments that appear well prepared and thought through. More research tips can be found on the "Your Interview" page.
- For in-person interviews, make sure you select, try on and then lay out your clothing well in advance of getting ready for your interview to be sure you have an appropriate outfit selected AND that everything fits correctly. By preparing in advance, if you find you do not have the correct outfit, you still have time to select another outfit, borrow an outfit or buy something new.
- Also, for in-person interviews, lay out any items you need to bring with you (resumes, cover letter, references, portfolio, pen or pencil, preparation materials, company address, etc.) so you will not be running around at the last minute trying to find a pen or figuring out where you can print your resume. This could cause you to be late or be frazzled or nervous and not do well with the interviewer.
What's the most important thing to bring?
Be sure to bring YOU! Try to leave your jitters aside (with your gum!) and be at your best and "in the moment" from the start of your interview to the finish.
In addition to being well prepared, attributes such as good eye contact, a firm handshake (if the interview is in-person) an easy smile, a pleasant demeanor and a solid command of your skills and accomplishments can all help you to get the job.
Candidates with positive energy and a can-do attitude are interviewer's favorites!
JobGiraffe – Reach Higher®