Q+A: How to make a great first impression during an interview

Questions from our Readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

Q: What is the best way to make a great first impression during an interview?

A: You don’t need me to tell you about firm handshakes and appropriate clothes. So here is the substance of what will make your interview go well.

Be very well prepared. Know what the job is and what the company does. Know who it competes with and what are the latest developments in the field.

Learn in advance as much as you can about your interviewer: what is their expertise and background so much of this is available online.

Know what you have in your experience and passions that will suit you for the position and let this frame all your answers.

Let the interviewer set the agenda for the conversation, but do not be afraid to frame your answers to your advantage and create openings to tell brief anecdotes of your relevant successes.

Be confident in your abilities – but not pushy. Feel within you that you are the person they need to fill this position. Be really interested and enthusiastic about the work that they do and the opportunity you will be afforded. Thank the interviewer for meeting with you and say that you would be excited to work there.