The first five minutes of a job interview can make or break your odds of landing an offer.
Those fleeting moments set the tone for the rest of the conversation: If you show up late, unprepared or glued to your phone, it’s hard to convince the interviewer that you want the job, even if you are qualified.
To capture a hiring manager’s attention, you need to project a friendly, confident and professional demeanor from the onset, says William Vanderbloemen, the CEO of executive search firm Vanderbloemen Search Group.
Vanderbloemen has interviewed over 30,000 job candidates throughout his career — and the ones who stand out, he says, always do these 3 things to instantly impress a hiring manager during the job interview:
Dress for success
You might have gotten comfortable dressing down for online meetings during the pandemic, but a more casual ensemble isn’t going to cut it for a job interview — even if it’s on Zoom.
While it’s likely that the interviewer will only see your upper half online, they could catch a glimpse of your sweatpants, depending on the camera angle, Vanderbloemen warns. Some interviewers might even ask you to stand up during a video call, to check that you’re wearing professional attire.
“I know that sounds like old curmudgeon stuff but if you want to impress a recruiter, you really need to dress for the job,” he says. “It’s an important sign that shows you’re taking this opportunity seriously.”
Regardless of the interview setting, Vanderbloemen recommends checking out a company’s website and social media to figure out what people are wearing to the office or, if the company is remote, to corporate retreats and in-person events. Then, match your outfit accordingly.