4 Ways to Make a Great First Impression at a Graduate Job Interview

Posted by GradConnection

Updated on 20 October 2022

From the moment you walk through the door, your interviewer has already made a few snap judgements about you. They’ll be sizing up whether you’re a good fit for the role and team - that’s why first impressions are so important! Make sure you get noticed for the right reasons with these 4 interview preparation tips.

1. Know what to wear to a job interview

Demonstrate that you’re the perfect match for their team by dressing appropriately for the industry. While a suit might be appropriate for a large corporate company, you could appear stuffy and overdressed for a tech start-up.

The easiest way to make sure you dress appropriately is to simply ask, “What should I wear to the job interview?”. The best person to ask is the Human Resources Manager/Recruiter who sets up the interview, but you could also ask anyone you know who works in a similar company. If in doubt, always dress slightly more formally than you think is appropriate - it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed!

Top Tip: It's best to avoid anything that fits poorly, bright or distracting clothes, or overly casual items like a cap or sunglasses.

2. How to ace an interview with your body language

Body language is one of the most important ways to make a good first impression in an interview. Don't forget to smile even if you you're feeling super nervous! You can make a good impression at your job interview by making direct eye contact during conversation.

If you’re in a panel interview, make sure to look at whoever is asking you the question. While answering take turns in making eye contact with each person. If this is one of your first interviews, it pays to practice your body language with a family member or friend until you’ve nailed it.

Top Tip: Be aware of any ticks or habits you might have e.g. tendency to cross your arms when you speak, fiddle with your hair, looking at the floor or slouching.

3. Treat everyone like your interviewer

One of the best interview tips is something you can do from the moment you leave the house. That is to treat everyone you meet with the same respect as you would your interviewer. Not only is this a great ‘how to prepare for a job interview’ mindset, but you never know if any of the people you meet will be sitting across the desk making decisions about your future.

Top Tip: Always be polite and courteous - burning bridges is a hard no-go in your early career!

4. Learn everything you can about the business

While preparing for a job interview, find out what the organisation does, what their mission statement is and understand the role you’re applying for. Bring this knowledge up before you’re asked if possible - it’s one of the best things to say in an interview to impress. Taking the time to learn about the business is the easiest way to show that you’ve done your research and that you’re interested in the position. Another great example could be if the company has recently put on an event or won an award - congratulating your interviewer as you walk into the room makes for an excellent ice-breaker!

Top Tip: Practice makes perfect! Don't be discouraged if things don't work out - like everything in life, the more interviews you do, the better you will be at them.


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