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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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7.1 Physical impression

Photo of a scruffy-looking dog.
Figure 12 What first impression will you give?

As you know from Section 2, first impressions are extremely important. You will be assessed from the moment you enter the interview room. Good first impressions can be helped by:

  • Walking in confidently and smiling.
  • A firm, confident handshake.
  • Look at the person asking questions. If there is more than one interviewer, you will need to include each person by looking at them too as you answer.
  • Sitting comfortably but upright. Don’t be afraid to shift position during the interview. Sitting absolutely still could seem a little unnatural.
  • Avoid fidgeting – it is usually best to keep your hands on your lap unless you are using them to illustrate an answer.
  • Try not to be too flamboyant if you do use hand gestures.

Three tips on things NOT to do would be to:

  • smoke before your interview – the smell will linger
  • forget to switch your mobile phone to silent – it could look rude if the phone rings
  • fold your arms – it can appear defensive or aggressive.