First Impressions Count

Interviewers often make decision about an applicant during the first few minutes and spend the interviewing time justifying that decision. Be ready to take advantage of that small amount of time to make the right impression. The following tips will assist you in creating a positive image of credibility and liability. Personal chemistry is as important as job qualification.

Arrive Early with extra resumes, research about the company, questions you want to ask, contact numbers of references, and work samples.

Be friendly to the receptionist and others you meet. Show appreciation for any help or information given. Observe the work areas and how employees relate to one another, to customers or vendors. These are clues to the company culture.

Review your notes to instill confidence in the expert on your skills and experience - YOU!


Collect Business cards; give them your card. If you are not employed, have a generic card printed with your contact information. Take notes related to the job duties and major points discussed.

If another interviewer enters the room during the interview, stand and introduce yourself. This person could make the final decision.


Complete the entire application, even if the information duplicates the resume. This form often is an indication of how well you follow instructions. The consistency of information provided may be necessary for the final hiring records.

Read through the application first. Determine what they are asking. Follow all directions explicitly. If the application states "print", do so.

Never leave blanks or say "see resume". Be specific; use notes and resume being accurate.

Read disclaimers at the end of the application. They refer to references, employment requirements and other information. Sign the application and be prepared to follow the rules.

Inconsistent or incomplete information can result in dismissal after hire.


If in doubt, visit the location to see how current employees dress. Telephone call requesting information about dress codes WILL WORK FOR YOU. Avoid "casual Friday looks." Clothing, hairstyles and accessories must fit the company image and the job. Conservatism is always in good taste. Your image is a sign of your credibility, and they expect you at your very best.

For Women:

Wear a suit, skirt and tailored jacket, dress with sleeves or a dress with jacket in conservative style, color and fabric. Be feminine, but business-like. Avoid very short skirts. Clothing must be appropriate to the position you are seeking and the season of the year. The following are general rules:

  • 1. Keep makeup and accessories to a minimum. Less is more when it comes to jewelry; avoid jangly bracelets and more than one pair of small earrings. Avoid fragrances - some people have allergies.
  • 2. Hair should be worn in a conservative style; nails manicured, short to mid-length, with clear coat or light color polish.
  • 3. Shoes should be suitable in color and style to your clothing, polished and repaired. Consider lower heeled shoes; sometimes an extended tour of the facility is part of the interview.
  • 4. Hosiery is a must in colors that complement your outfit. Never wear hose darker than your shoes. Carry an extra pair in case of emergency.
  • 5. Use a purse or a briefcase. Portfolios of your work are acceptable. Either should be of good quality and purses should match outfit. You need a hand free to greet people, open doors, etc.

For Men:

Consider the position you are applying for, the time of the year, styles, and the rules in general.

  • 1. Wear a suit, preferably in blue or gray; in a conservative style (pinstripe pattern is allowable). Blazers, slacks and a shirt with a collar but without a tie are acceptable in a few instances. Consider the image you want to project. Make certain the outfit is tailored to your body, weight, height and is freshly pressed.
  • 2. Shirts should be a solid color; ties should also be conservative (small pattern or stripe to coordinate with the suit and shirt).