As clichéd as the saying may be, it’s true: you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And when it comes to job interviews, that first impression can make or break your chances at landing the job.
If you want to make a professional impact, these 10 tips can help in making your job interview introduction successful:
1. Mind your body language
The way you stand, sit, walk, and look around all make an impression (favorable or not) upon the people you come in contact with. Try to exude confidence as a job candidate—even if you’re not feeling it—by standing up straight, walking at an even pace, and controlling any nervous jitters.
2. Don’t forget to introduce yourself
Never assume that people will automatically know who you are when you arrive at your interview location. When you go to the reception area, introduce yourself by name and state that you’re there to meet X person. An added bonus: know the name of the person you’ll be meeting ahead of time without having to glance at your notes or shuffle through papers. After all, the receptionist might pass along to your interviewer that you didn’t know their name, which can already set your interview off on the wrong foot.
3. Make eye contact
A great way to exhibit confidence is by making strong eye contact. When you walk, make friendly eye contact with people(and not the floor), and when you’re speaking to someone, try to look into their eyes. Obviously, eye contact can turn creepy pretty quickly if you stare too intensely, but looking people in the eye shows that you see them, and more importantly, that you’re listening to them.
4. Be positive
Job interview anxiety can get the best of any job candidate. Unfortunately, stress can show up on your face and make you appear to be standoffish, aloof, or angry. To combat any awkward facial cues, try to maintain a positive attitude prior to your interview! Putting a smile on your face will help to subconsciously ease your anxiety and send a positive message to those you are meeting as well.
5. Hone your handshake
To establish a positive rapport with your potential employer, you’ll most likely shake hands at the onset of the job interview. That’s why you should be mindful of your handshake. You want to aim for a confident, strong handshake, but one that doesn’t leave your interviewer wincing in pain. And the opposite is true, too—you don’t want your grip to be so weak that your employer feels like your hand is a rag doll. If you’re unsure of how professional your handshake is, try shaking hands with a few people for practice.
6. Accept small gestures
Small gestures can go a long way in creating a positive impression of you. So if you’re offered something (such as water or some other refreshment), try to be gracious in your response. From holding the door open for others to helping someone pick up dropped papers, these small gestures can go a long way in impressing a potential employer.
7. Be organized
Organization is critical to job interview success. While your outfit is probably well put together, make sure the same holds true for everything else you’ve brought with you. When introducing yourself, you don’t want to fumble with your portfolio, keys, coat, or anything else. Before showing up for your interview, have everything organized so you can focus on why you are there—to get the job. And when you arrive, make sure to hang up your coat and organize yourself one last time so that you don’t fumble when it comes time to meet your interviewer.
8. Stay dry
Sweaty palms are not a job candidate’s friend. If you feel that yours are getting kind of damp, be sure to dry them off. Have a handkerchief or tissue to blot off any excess sweat. And if worst comes to worst, you can always quickly press the palms of your hand on your leg or lap right before getting up to shake someone’s hand. That way, you’ll be remembered for your qualifications—and not your clammy hands.
9. Be friendly
You never know who you might meet when you arrive for a job interview. That person walking behind you as you entered the office just might be your future coworker. That’s where having good manners can go a long way. Be friendly (but not exaggeratedly so) to people you meet before and during your interview to present yourself in the best light possible.
10. Do a quick review
Sure, you’ve already researched the company, but pre-interview jitters can send your mind scrambling. While you’re waiting to be interviewed, review some notes regarding the company and the position you’re applying for. But keep in mind this isn’t like cramming for a test—this should be a quick once-over that you do to refresh your mind. And when you go in for your interview, you’ll feel confident and know that you’re qualified for the job.
This article was originally published on Flexjobs.