First impressions count. Employers provide feedback frequently about how important it is for students to know the appropriate ways to behave and appear in interactions with them. Here are some suggestions and resources for those who are new to a professional career search.

Creating a Positive First Impression

  • Be prompt and professional.
  • Arrive early (but don't enter the appropriate office until about five minutes before your scheduled interview) to be sure you know how to locate the meeting place and can exude a relaxed and positive tone upon arrival.
  • Be gracious to everyone you meet; you never know who may give feedback about your candidacy or visit.
  • When a hand is extended, smile and shake hands firmly but not in a vise grip.

Interview Etiquette

  • Be remembered for your strong character and excellent interviewing skills, not for an unusual display.
  • Avoid strong fragrances (perfumes, cigarette smoke, spicy food), color nail polishes, piercings (except simple style in ears), distracting jewelry or unprofessional clothing (e.g. short skirts, wrinkled clothing). Be Magazine offers advice on how to dress for success.
  • Stay positive and be flexible. It is not unusual for interviewers to be late, forget your resume or invite others to join the meeting.
  • Turn off cell phones (they can still be heard, even on vibrate mode), pagers and other noisy devices.
  • Be conscious of your body language; try not to fidget, cross your arms in front of your chest or slouch.
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