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How to guarantee that the first impression you give is a positive one
Whoever originally said "You only get one chance to make a first impression" was either coming from a job interview or a blind date. The two scenarios do havecertain commonalities. Both can be nerve-wracking social circumstances in which you meet someone who could be important to you for some time. In both situations, carrying breath mints can only help, not hurt.
One advantage an interview has over a date, however, is that most hiring managers' intentions are transparent; they want to find a qualified candidate to fill a particular job. That means you can do a little prep work to make sure the first impression is a positive one. To help you, here's a list of seven things anemployer will notice about you first during an interview:
1. Your arrival time
Being even the slightest bit late is an obvious no-no, but experts agree that arriving too early is also gauche, since you might make the interviewer feel rushed to greet you. What's the sweet spot? Somewhere between five and 10 minutes before your appointed time. "We suggest that candidates not arrive any more than 10 minutes ahead of an interview, unless they've coached you to come in early to fill out paperwork," says Brett Good, senior district president for the staffing services firm Robert Half International. Do a dry run ahead of time so that you're sure of the route to take to the office, and so you're familiar with the traffic flow for the time of day you'll be driving.
2. Your Attire
Your interviewing outfit should depend on the company and the occupation you're seeking. It's not always appropriate to wear a basic business suit, but donning your dingy cut-out jeans probably won't work, either. To determine how you should and shouldn't dress, Gretchen Sunderland, a career and...