The first impression is made in as little as seven seconds and includes your grooming, wardrobe and body language. These non-verbal signals comprise 55% of your communication skills and tell the interviewer if he/she would like to thoroughly discuss the position with you or quickly show you to the door.

  • Poor grooming suggests disorganization, low self-image, lack of attention to detail, and possibly, sloppiness in your work. Positive, assertive body language and a firm handshake make a positive impression.
  • Hair, makeup and finger nails must be neat and well groomed.
  • Avoid chewing gum, smoking, drinking coffee, fidgeting or resting on your arm.
  • Sit back and lean slightly forward with engaging eye contact. Purses belong on the floor.


There’s no impression like the first impression. Initial decisions made about you in the first three minutes of the job interview are nearly irreversible. The purpose of your clothing is to project an image of professionalism.

  • Your clothes should subtly add to your appearance. More importantly, clothing shouldn’t detract from your business image.
  • Much as you may want to stand out, wearing the business “uniform” communicates instantly that you are a mature, stable professional and a member of the team.
  • Even if the internal dress code is very casual, your interviewing attire should adhere to a conservative standard.
  • Dress up – the best you would ever dress when actually employed there.

Be upbeat, professional, well groomed, enthusiastic and make it all about them! Honestly state what you can do for them, look the part and act the part!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is a national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a career and virtual presentations coach with Transformation Academy, LLC.  She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and a contributing author to “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being -The Total Woman in Leadership and Success Guide for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the Small Business Association of the Midlands and co-director of greater Omaha’s Affiliated Women International. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at