The All Important First Five Minutes of an Interview

“How can I succeed in the first 5 minutes of a job interview?” you ask.

Well, you have your answers in this article by Parker Slovinsky.  Check out what he has to say…

I know a lot of you guys reading this article are in transition. Maybe you’ve just graduated college. You’ve just left the military. Maybe you’ve been fired from your job or laid off. Maybe you’re just simply looking to switch industries or you’re looking for something better.

In this article, I imagine a formal interview setting. But understand you can use these tips even in a non-formal setting. A lot of the information I’m going to talk about can still be used in any kind of interview setting.

For you to succeed in the first 5 minutes of the job interview, you have to understand ‘The power of the first impression.’

The Power of First Impression

You make only ‘one’ first impression! How important are first impressions? In a blink of an eye, you could form an impression of someone you see for the first time. You immediately decide if you like the person or not. You evaluate their personality and classify them into different categories.

In life, first impressions make us decide whether to trust someone or not, whether to love someone or not and whether to hire someone or not.

You now understand that making a good first impression anywhere is extremely crucial, be it in a social gathering, interview or in a business. The first impression an employer makes you can influence his/her decision to hire you or not! It really is an important thing in the first 5 minutes of a job interview.

Now, you know the power of first impressions. How can you succeed in the first 5 minutes of the job interview? Here are some tips:

Tip #1. Dress appropriately.

You knew I was going to talk about this. Some companies have a dress code and they will specifically tell you for the interview via email, via the phone call. Get that information, follow it. It is expected of you. This is something you should do. Now if they say there is no dress code. Understand that there still is a dress code. There is a company culture. There is a way that they normally dress to work. If you are applying to work at a fast food joint and you show up wearing a suit, smartwatch, tie and pointy shoes, you know you’ll be sending the wrong signal.

You don’t have to wear a suit. A suit does not mean you’re going to be well dressed or appropriately dressed. So, there is an expectation and you’re going to just have to do a little more research. Maybe look at the company website. Check out their videos. See how their people dress. If you’re going to deviate in any way, maybe dress a little bit better. But the key point is, dress appropriately!

Tip #2. Arrive Early and Prepared!

Showing up very late or unprepared for your interview is one thing you should never do! You could flop in your interview because of it. Arriving a few minutes before the interview commences is something you shouldn’t do either. Do you want to walk through the door in clothes soaked with sweat or panting heavily? Do you want to walk through the door unprepared? It’ll destabilize you and even get an immediate bad first impression from the interviewer(s).

You’ll hardly be able to do anything to make up for this action throughout the course of the interview. You should be at your venue, settled and prepared for the interview at least 30-60 minutes before the interview begins. Arrive early!

Tip #3. Have Confidence, Look Confident.

You need to have full confidence in yourself unless you’ll flop. As an interviewee, you need to act and look confident in front of the interviewer or interviewers. You should know what you stand for. You need to believe in yourself and don’t let the decision of that person or the people across from you have any effect on who you are. You interviewer(s) can sense your level of confidence and that can determine the next step to take. You don’t have to act like a soldier. Just smile, don’t act nervous, have a firm handshake. Be, act and look confident.

Tip #4. Be Polite and Follow Instructions

Be polite to everyone you meet, especially your interviewer(s). Don’t be cocky. Relax, listen attentively. Reply briefly and correctly, unless you are asked to explain something in details. Have a smooth and nice going conversation and give compliments when due. Strictly adhere to every instruction, no matter how little or unimportant they may seem to appear. Answer all the questions well and have a nice time!

All these tips may seem little, but they are powerful. You now hold the power to succeed in the first 5 minutes of any job interview. Good luck!


Parker Slovinsky is a Scrum Master by profession and an enthusiastic freelance writer by night. He adores researching cutting-edge trends, writing about everything worth knowing in the digital age. Now his writing experience includes articles at

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