First Impression

Our experience shows that most hiring professionals almost always know within the first three minutes of an interview whether they’ll recommend moving a candidate to the next level. To get you started on the right foot with a potential employer, here are some dos and don’ts to take into consideration when preparing for your first-round interview:

DO dress for success. Even if you get the impression that the workplace is more casual day-to-day, dress up for the interview to show the interviewer(s) that you’re serious about the position. Here are some tips from Purdue University-Fort Wayne on proper business attire.

DON’T be late. If you’re late for the interview how can a potential employer trust that you’ll be on time for your job? A lack of punctuality shows irresponsibility and a lack of value for others’ time.

DO ask informed questions. Do your research about the position and the company beforehand and prepare a few questions in advance of the interview, but also be sure to actively listen throughout the interview in case any new questions arise or the interviewer answers one of your prepared questions.

DON’T bad mouth your current or former employer. Explain why you are looking for a new job without venting or complaining to the interviewer. The only negatives you share about your current job should be to help the interviewer understand what you’re looking for in a new job.

DO provide detailed answers. Interviewers ask the questions they do because they want to know the answers. Don’t gloss over relevant experiences. Provide details that show the interviewer you’re well-equipped for this position.

There are aspects of the job search that you can’t control, such as who the other candidates are and how long it takes an employer to make a decision. But you can take the reins when it comes to interview preparation and arrive confident that you’ve done your part to have a successful first interview.