Making a good impression is all about the first few minutes of the interview. You need to be able to show your potential employer that you would be a good fit in their image of what their company is. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when you are at the interview.

The dead fish

When you shake hands, it is important to have a strong grasp, a cool, dry hand and good eye-contact. Don’t just offer your finger-tips and don’t be too aggressive, but a hand-shake should be firm. If your hand is limp and sweaty we call it a dead fish. Not a nice image, right?

Rabbiting on

This means that you are talking too much. Ask questions, involve the interviewer as much as possible and answer questions concisely. If you are not an interesting person to talk with, you are lowering your chances of being remembered favourably. If the interviewer hasn’t been able to ask questions for the past 30 minutes, you might want to consider stopping to breathe.


This means that you are saying negative things about your past employers, company or colleagues. This is bad because if you cannot be positive for the duration of the interview, you probably will not be a positive employee. Also, if you didn’t fit well in your last company, you might not fit well in this one so paint all past experiences beautifully. If your last job was hell, talk about how you enjoyed the tropical climate.

Being rude to the gatekeeper

The first impression that you make is actually on the receptionist. Managers often take into consideration feedback from the staff as they will need to work with that person too. So make a good impression on the gatekeeper and also look interested in your surroundings while you are waiting. If you don’t look interested in being there, the interviewer might be less interested in speaking with you.

Becoming a burden

Showing up late for a job interview is obviously not good but often companies will frown upon candidates who show up too early as well. If you show up too early, you risk becoming a burden on the company so going early and waiting at a nearby café is always a good. Taking a pillow or a tent is obviously going a little far.

The stare down

Too much eye-contact can seem intense. Too little eye-contact can make you seem disinterested. The rule of thumb is to keep the eye contact fairly constant but keep in mind that it’s not a date.

Best of luck with your next interview!

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