Ask an Interviewer: 4 Ways to Make a Stellar First Impression

Most attorney recruiters will warn applicants that the company’s reps immediately start grading you the moment you step foot in the building. It’s a human instinct to read someone based on their looks and the way they act—and usually the first impressions are the ones that last. It’s incredibly important to make a good first impression because, after all, there’s only one chance to do it. Below, our legal recruiters talk about five ways you can make a stellar impact during your interview.

Have a Plan. What is it you want to accomplish? What message do you want to convey? It’s always best to plan these strategies beforehand. Pick your outfit and appearance carefully. If you want to come off as professional, then dress conservatively. As you’re getting ready, keep in mind that your appearance says a lot about you, and prepare accordingly, keeping in mind the language you want to speak.

Be Cool. As opposed to boring. If you are interested in other people and show it, your enthusiasm and energy will be contagious. Your interviewer will want to share your interest, especially if it’s a genuine one. During an interview, your enthusiasm for the job will reflect on your potential work ethic. If you’re excited for this chance to be a part of the company, don’t be afraid to show it. Just be careful not to go too over the top, and stay genuine and true to yourself.

Grin and Bear it. Obviously, it is not a good idea to make a good impression when you simply don’t feel like it. However, if you already have an interview scheduled for a bad-mood day, there’s no avoiding it. The best way to get over your bad mood is to fake it: pretend that you’re having one of the best days of your life. Psychologists say that simply smiling can brighten up a negative attitude. So keep a positive outlook and you'll be surprised how much better you'll feel.

Think Straight. Be conscious of your body language and posture. You might not even realize that you are slouching, but your interviewer will—and so will anyone else who can see you. Body language conveys a strong message. Keep your posture straight, your shoulders back and relaxed, and point your feet toward the interviewer to show interest. And again, don't forget to smile.

To make a killer first impression on your interviewer, keep these tips in mind. They don’t apply exclusively to job interviews. Whether you’re simply trying to make a first impression with a friend, relative, or coworker, these steps are imperative. First impressions are essential in any new relationship—so make the ones you create count.