A first impression is a crucial moment on a first date. Things like bad breath, nervousness, or even outright desperation can and will throw up warning signals to your date. The same is also true on an interview; where a lack of confidence, charisma, and manners can undermine your qualifications for almost any position.
The key to nailing your first impression is simple: sell yourself. Between a constant smile and a positive attitude, be attractive not only as an employee but as a person. You don't need to fake your way through the interview, just shine as yourself and let your qualities do the talking (without saying too much).
Why Are You there?
Still, before you make this first impression you need to understand why you're taking this interview. Are you unemployed? Are you looking to move up in the world? Are you simply using this as a stop-gap paycheck? Whatever the reason is, understand it, but don't share it on the interview. Instead, focus immediately on being eager and attentive, and do as much listening as you can.
This all feeds back into your first impression. If you aren't smiling, you'll seem unpleasant. If you look unkempt or less formal, you will seem like you don't care. If you're late to the interview, consider it a lost cause (but do show up—absenteeism may disqualify you for future positions with the same organization). Things like this are easily avoidable and they act as intangible aspects to the crucial first impression. What you wear to the interview can also make or break it. Dress professionally for every interview, no matter what the position you’re applying for is. If your wardrobe is currently stocked with less-than-office-appropriate outfits, change this immediately. If money's tight, you can save on career essentials with coupons from Discountrue for Agaci clothing. A clean and professional appearance goes a long way towards communicating your competence to interviewers.
A couple of extra tricks in nailing that first impression are to ask a personal question to the interviewer as an aside. Nothing too nosy, but slightly personal. A compliment can work too but, if not properly executed, it can seem manipulative or cheesy. Another tip, and this is a bit more esoteric, is to find a place to meditate before the interview. Cool the inevitable nerves associated with an interview and get your head clear and focused. It may seem unorthodox but calmness and giving off the vibe that you have a measured personality are immediately noticeable in an interview. Remember, sometimes interviewers themselves can be a little nervous (they're responsible for making the right hire, after all), so throwing a potent blend of confidence and composure can be a hugely impressive first impression asset.
All in all, the first impression is a cocktail of small visual cues and intangible decisions. It can dictate the trajectory of a conversation and must be taken into consideration before each and every interview you attend.