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From the resume to the interview, the most important job for job seekers is to make the best first impression possible. When you’re meeting a potential employer for the first time, it is normal and natural to be nervous, but it is important that you recognize this and work hard to impress them with your background, talent, and drive. Here are some things you can incorporate into your interviewing strategy to help make a great first impression.

Always be on Time

The first impression of you starts before you even arrive. If you are late, even for exceptionally valid reasons, it casts a negative light on your candidacy. Before the day of your interview, map the location, take a drive to see how far it is and make sure you understand where you’re going. Try to determine if traffic will make a big difference. Leave with plenty of time to get there even if you’re early. You can always wait in the parking lot for a few minutes. If you are late or get lost, call immediately and let them know where you are.

Mind Your Manners

You really need to have a good understanding of basic etiquette to be able to sell yourself in an interview. Stand up when someone else enters the room, shake hands firmly, and always say please and thank you. These simple gestures will go a very long way to ensuring that you make the right, and most polite, first impression.

Choose The Right Clothes

Your clothes do say a lot about you. Almost 100 percent of the time you will want to pull out your most professional suit for an interview. This is true for both men and women. Always keep accessories to a minimum and avoid heavy cologne or perfume all together. However, if the company has a specific dress code request for the interview, always follow their instructions.

Pay Attention to Body Language

When you’re talking with the hiring manager, you need to pay attention to your non-verbal communication as much as your answers to questions. Don’t use body language that can be perceive as intimidating. Mirror the other person as much as possible. Use the appropriate amount of eye contact to make the conversation seem comfortable. And, whatever you do, don’t leave your cell phone on!

Follow the Conversation

Lastly, you want to make sure that the conversation is fluid and conversational. Don’t get overly sidetracked with details that aren’t pertinent such as your financial situation or family life. Answer their questions, share your accomplishments, and ask some questions of your own. If they do ask something that could be perceived as discriminatory, steer the conversation back to something relevant.

Are you ready for your next interview? NRI is hiring for jobs in Washington D.C. and can help today!

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