They say you only have one chance to make a first impression. This has never been more critical than when you’re interviewing. If you make one tiny mistake you could be costing yourself the job. Every move you make is being rated and evaluated so it is up to you to put your best foot forward. How do you avoid a bad first impression or how do you correct one when it happens. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Your Clothes

You should almost always wear professional attire to an interview. The only exception to this is when other clothes are directly requested by the employer. Otherwise, a suit for both men and women is appropriate. Make sure it is clean, neat, and wrinkle free. Keep accessories to a minimum, and avoid cologne all together. Inappropriate wardrobe or disheveled clothing gives the impression that you don’t care.

Your Attitude

Always stay positive. Nothing kills a candidate’s chances at a job quicker than negativity. Don’t discuss things that don’t impact the job such as your current financial status or family issues. Don’t speak poorly about your previous employer as this will raise a red flag about your ability to work with others.

Your Manners

Always stand up to greet someone walking in the room. Provide a firm handshake. Say please and thank you. These simple etiquette tips will go a long way. Avoid answering the phone in an interview, arriving late, chewing gum, or any other rude behaviors. Think about all the simple things that make you think about getting good service.

Your Follow-Up

Lastly, you want to make sure that you follow up after the initial interview. Without doing so the hiring manager may get the impression that you are not truly interested in their opportunity. Send a professional email directly to the person you spoke with after you arrive home from the interview or, at the latest, the next day.

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