How to Make a Great First Impression at an Interview

As a HR company in Cheshire, who offer a variety of career management services, we know from experience that when most people prep for an interview, they normally focus on preparing detailed answers to the tough questions they might face. After all, coming across as intelligent, witty and knowing what the job is about is what will get you the acceptance letter – right?

However, our experience as a career coaches in Manchester has shown us, that this isn’t always the case. Yes, of course, your answers are important, but the interviewer has already formed an impression of you before you even open your mouth. From the moment you walk in the door, the interviewer is assessing your suitability for the role, so you have to ensure you do all that you can to make an outstanding first impression.

Interviews, HR and career management

As a company offering HR consultancy in Cheshire, we have had many years of experience in preparing people for interview. So, here are our tops tips on how to make a strong first impression and start your interview off in the best way possible:

Be Punctual

We cannot emphasise this enough! Nothing gives a worse impression than being late. A recent survey by Monster showed that 96% of interviewers said that a candidate’s timekeeping was key in their making a positive first impression. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. Being early is a bonus! If there is no way on earth you can avoid being late, then call the company and let them know as soon as possible. This is not only the polite thing to do, but it will also show your interviewer that you care.

Dress the Part

There is an old saying – ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have.’ This applies to interviews as well. Of course, your appearance won’t be the basis of the interviewer’s final decision (by law), but if you show up smartly dressed and with shiny shoes you can’t fail to give them a great first impression. It might be a good idea to have a look at the sort of things other people at the business are wearing before you go for an interview, so that you can judge the level of sophistication needed.

Ditch the Coffee

You may be used to carrying your takeout coffee into work and think you need an extra shot of caffeine to calm your nerves before your big interview – but fiddling with a paper cup or asking ‘hey where can I get rid of this’ is probably not the best first impression you want to give. Likewise, don’t chew gum or take out a granola bar mid-interview if you have forgotten to have breakfast. All of these things may put you in a less than favourable light.

Be Nice to Everyone

As an HR company in Cheshire, we have heard of some businesses asking their receptionists to report back to them on the character of interviewees. So make sure you are polite and respectful to every person you come across at the business before you are called into interview.

Phone Free Zone

This should go without saying, but have your phone off or on silent as soon as you get into the building. We know it is hard to fight the digital distraction, but when you are called in to interview you want to be calm and collected, not flustered from finishing your game of ‘Candy Crush’ and stuffing your phone into your pocket! Use the waiting time to check over your CV or portfolio again instead.

Introduce Yourself

Many people make the mistake of waiting for the interviewer to make the first move when it comes to introductions. Don’t be afraid to start off the conversation, as you will come across as enthusiastic, confident and self-assured.

These tips alone are probably not enough to get you the job, but they will ensure that you give a great first impression. For more information about our HR consultancy Cheshire services, including career coaching, please call us on 0161 300 1214 or email