Most job candidates know how important it is to make a great first impression; fewer of them know how to do it. Use these tips to set yourself apart during a job interview.
Show up on time. Leave for your appointment a minimum of 30 minutes earlier than you think you have to. This will prevent the unexpected, such as heavy traffic or road closures from making you late. If you do fall victim to delays, call the person you’re meeting to let them know when you'll arrive.
Look for opportunities to stand out. If you’re meeting over coffee or lunch, speak to your server to arrange to pay for your interviewer’s drink or meal ahead of time. If you know something about the interests of the person you’re speaking with, bring along a related article or photo to share.
Dress to impress. Play it safe with your wardrobe. Leave your ripped jeans in the closet in favor of a suit pants or a dress for office jobs and well-kept khakis for more casual workplaces. Wear shoes instead of sneakers and keep makeup and jewelry light and professional.
Leave your gum at home. It can be difficult to understand someone who is chewing gum. In addition, some people simply don't like watching others chew.
Bring your resume … even if you’ve already sent it to someone at the company. It shows that you come prepared, and if the interview goes well, you may be asked to meet with other people on the team. They’ll be more likely to remember you if you leave a copy of your resume behind.
Be a good listener. Many job seekers are nervous during interviews, so it can be easy to talk more than usual. Try to curb this behavior. Interviewers are usually impressed with someone who listens well and asks smart follow-up questions.