Career Services Center

Rockwell Hall
Commons Level
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412-396-6644
Fax: 412-396-6646

    A A Email Print Share

    Make a Positive First Impression

    Studies show the first few minutes of a job interview are critical.  A positive first impression gives you a good chance to show your skills and knowledge and potentially land the job!

    • Arrive on time – preferably 10 minutes early
    • Smile and introduce yourself in a courteous manner to the receptionist
    • When greeted by the interviewer, stand up straight, make eye contact, smile, and extend your hand for a handshake.
    • Carry your briefcase on your left shoulder so your right hand is free for shaking hands
    • Shake hands firmly, palm to palm.  Avoid either a weak handshake or overly aggressive handshake.
    • Engage in small talk – elaborate on questions with more than a yes or no response and ask questions to create a two-way conversation
    • Show enthusiasm – use vocal inflection, facial expression, and hand gestures to convey interest.
    • Use good posture – stand or sit up straight, keep your shoulders back and your head up.  Don’t cross your arms across your chest. 
    • Show active listening through non-verbal feedback: lean slightly forward in your chair, make eye contact, smile and nod as the interviewer talks