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How to make a good first
impression at an interview

Asyou’re walking into the office and see if it’s a great, sunny work environment or a dismal zombie playground... you still want to make a good impression either way, right? Making a good first impression is the thing that scares many applicants most. It can be hard to know what a company wants or the best way to present yourself. Luckily, we’ve got a few suggestions that you can implement to be a total boss on your first contact with the company you’re interviewing with.

Gauge the culture and try to fit accordingly

If you are interviewing somewhere, you should know a little bit about the company’s culture. If not, take a look at what the say on social media. Do they use a ton of gifs, and speak really jovially with their customers? In that case, probably being friendly in your interview or making some puns or jokes might be a good choice. If on the flip side, they are extremely formal in their online presence, it may be a good idea to take if a bit more seriously: dress a bit more formally, and maybe save the jokes about the latest episode of Community for another time.

All that being said: don’t ever change yourself to try to fit in somewhere. There are so many companies in the world with so many different cultures, there is certainly one that fits you. So, if you find a company that’s trying to bring you in for an interview, but you then start thinking about how you’re going to manage to pass for fitting in — it’s probably best to skip that company and move on to one that seems to fit you a little bit better. In the long run, if you’re trying to push a square peg in a round hole, it’s just not going to work anyway.

Come to the interview with knowledge

As you’re doing your research on culture, pay attention to things like the history of the company, or the important players. For example, if you’re interviewing for a support role, try to find out a bit more about the support team structure and anything unique that they do. For example, do they offer out of the queue time for employees? Are some of the team members remote? Having background knowledge of this will allow you to have context when you’re interviewing. You’ll know who you’re talking to, and a little bit more about what they’re talking about than you would have known prior.

It will also serve to impress your interviewers: someone who has spent time digging into a company and knows their stuff will always look better than someone who has no background to go off of.

Ask questions

When you ask informed questions during the interview process, it serves to further nail home the fact that you are an awesome candidate. It shows that you’ve done your research, that you’re interested in the product that the company offers, and that you care enough to go above and beyond for the interview process. It could also potentially show that you’re a fan of the product and use it regularly. Either way, asking questions about the product, company, or interviewer that shows that you’ve done a bit of research and know your stuff goes a long way towards making a great impression.

Describe yourself well

When you are first introducing yourself to people, what do you say? The language that you use to talk about yourself to others can be really meaningful. Pay attention to how you introduce yourself, what you are hoping to be doing, and how you describe your experience. If you describe yourself well and positively, people will have a lasting impression of you moving forward. If you don’t, that might be the only thing that they remember. So, think about how you want people to see you, and then describe yourself as such, especially during first introductions. Remember: you are your own worst critic.