Making A Positive First Impression

You have one chance to make a positive first impression.  Although there may be some things out of your control, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward:

Tips

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
  • Turn off your cell phone before you arrive.
  • Dress neatly and cleanly in a business-like fashion.
  • Avoid using too much cologne or perfume, but don't forget deodorant.
  • Pleasantly introduce yourself to everyone you meet and offer a firm handshake.
  • Take job-related documents with you in a portfolio as well as a pen and paper in case notes are required/allowed.
  • Maintain regular eye contact with interviewers without staring them down.
  • Keep your head up, eyes open, and show a smile.
  • Posture and movement: upright with good posture, both standing and seated. Avoid restlessness and excessive movement.
  • Speech: use a moderate pitch and volume. Some variation adds interest and shows enthusiasm. Avoid mumbling, nervous laughter and using the same phrase or word repeatedly.

Dress For Success

Business Casual Vs. Business Professional

It's important to dress professionally, and dress codes can be confusing. What you wear, and how you wear it, is very important in making a positive first impression.

Business Casual for Women

  • Pressed, professional dress shirt or blouse in a solid neutral colour or pinstripe.
  • Conservative skirt or pants in a solid, neutral colour.
  • Polished closed-toe shoes with a maximum 1 inch heel.
  • Conservative and neat hair. Keep hair out of your eyes.
  • Brush teeth and apply deodorant.
  • Clean, neat hands and nails.
  • Perfume should be avoided.

 

Business Professional for Women

  • Pressed, conservative suit: jacket and pants or jacket and skirt in a solid, neutral colour or pinstripe.
  • Pressed, professional dress shirt or blouse.
  • Polished closed-toe shoes with a maximum 1 inch heel.
  • Conservative and neat hair. Keep hair out of your eyes.
  • Brush teeth and apply deodorant.
  • Clean, neat hands and nails.
  • Perfume should be avoided.

 

Business Casual for Men

  • Conservative tie and jacket is optional.
  • Pressed, professional dress shirt in a solid, neutral colour.
  • Black socks and white undershirt.
  • Polished dress shoes and matching belt.
  • Conservative and neat hair and clean shaven or trimmed facial hair.
  • Brush teeth and apply deodorant.
  • Cologne should be avoided.
  • Clean, neat hands and nails.

 

Business Professional for Men

  • Pressed, professional suit in a solid, dark neutral colour or pinstripe.
  • Pressed dress shirt in a solid neutral colour.
  • Conservative tie.
  • Black socks and white undershirt.
  • Polished dress shoes and matching belt.
  • Conservative and neat hair and clean shaven or trimmed facial hair.
  • Brush teeth and apply deodorant.
  • Cologne should be avoided.
  • Clean, neat hands and nails.