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Making a positive first impression is critical in many areas of life, especially for job interviews. When you start out on the right foot and get in the good graces of an interviewer, your chances of landing the job increase considerably. Here are some ways you can make a great first impression.

Do Your Homework

Once you know you’ve landed an interview, you should spend some time learning as much as possible about the company you’re applying to, and the job you’re applying for. For example, you might want to research their company history and how they fit into their industry. You may also want to check out the details of the job description and the tasks you would be responsible for.

This is important, because you’ll be able to answer questions an interviewer might ask — such as, “What do you know about our company?” or “How qualified are you for the position you’re applying to?” When you can show that you’ve gone the extra mile, the odds are good that your interviewer will be impressed.

Dress Appropriately

The moment you walk in the room, an interviewer is going to start assessing you, and whether or not you’re someone worth hiring. If you dress professionally in a tailored suit, you’re going to give a better impression than you would if you were wearing wrinkled clothes with holes in them. While the dress code will vary depending upon the job — and a suit isn’t always necessary — you need to be sure to dress appropriately and look your best.

Show Up on Time

One of the best ways to kill your chances is showing up late. Tardiness is the ultimate sign of a lack of professionalism, and simply isn’t tolerated by many interviewers. And as the old saying goes, when you show up on time, you’re late. This means that you should show up a few minutes ahead of time to be on the safe side.

Use the Right Body Language  

In addition to the words you use, an interviewer will be analyzing your body language — even if only on a subconscious level. When you use the right body language, you’ll come across as confident, but not arrogant, and intelligent, but not a braggart. This typically starts by being relaxed and sitting comfortably in your chair. Avoid nervous gestures like tapping your foot or fidgeting.

Next, you want to use eye contact, but not to the point where you’re staring so that it becomes uncomfortable. You should slow your breathing and take deep breaths, because it will keep you relatively calm. It’s also recommended to “take 10 deep breaths before the interview, because it reduces heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels.”

By practicing these strategies, you’re less likely to make mistakes, and should make a positive first impression on your interviewer. For more free advice from professionals, check out our job search tips.

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