The best way to guarantee a company remembers you (in a good way) is to make a strong introduction when you arrive. You will never get back a first impression and the last thing you want to do is blend in to the background when there are potentially hundreds of candidates applying to the same position. Review the “Do’s and Don’ts” below to make sure you set yourself apart when you walk in for an interview.
DO have a strong handshake! Although you shouldn’t be trying to break their hand, you are trying to prove you aren’t shy when it comes to introductions. A stronger handshake indicates to employers that you are personable and serious about the job. For some reason, women are not expected to have a firm handshake. So for all you businesswomen out there, use this opportunity to gain respect from male employers with a serious first impression. The best compliment you can get is that you have a great handshake. Don’t underrate its power during the interview process, and don’t be afraid to practice!
DON’T have the ‘dead fish’ handshake. Shaking a limp hand makes for an awkward situation that will definitely not begin your interview well.
DO make eye contact! Don’t be afraid to look someone directly in the eye while shaking their hand. It shows you are engaged and confident. Although tempting, looking down might imply that you aren’t interested in the job. Eye contact during a handshake is crucial to making a strong introduction, and continuing this while answering their interview questions will further prove your confidence in applying for the position.
DON’T look disinterested. Your facial expression will probably be the first way an employer gauges your personality, even before your handshake. If your neutral expression indicates that you seem disinterested, bored, or even mean, make sure you aren’t making it while sitting and waiting for an interview. Ask one of your friends beforehand to make sure you aren’t in danger of this, and if you are, do some practicing in the mirror beforehand.
DO smile! Smiling can ease the tension and show that you are excited to be talking about their company. Employers are always searching for a positive person to add to their work environment, so even if you aren’t fully qualified, your positive energy might be an important factor in getting you hired.
Those first few moments of introductions will be the first time employers will be able to evaluate the type of candidate you are. Making a strong introduction will give you an edge over other applicants who might not be following the same tips.
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