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Number One Interview Tip

A job interview is a two-way street. It's not just about showing the company what you can do but also about showing that it would be lucky to have you on its team. Make sure your first impression makes a good one by following these tips.

Arrive early.

This is a big one, and it's not just about being fashionably late or making sure that you're the first person there—it's about giving yourself some breathing room before the interview begins.

Arriving early gives you time to relax, get organized, and mentally prepare for the questions you'll be asked (and, more importantly, gives you time to come up with answers). It also allows for a little pre-interview chit-chat with whoever happens to be around before your scheduled meeting. And if nothing else, arriving early will show that you're eager and ready for this opportunity!


The best interview tip you can follow is to smile. Smiling makes you look friendly and interested in the job. It also makes you look more approachable and confident, key qualities when a hiring manager tries to decide if they want to hire you. If there's one thing that will help your interview go smoothly, it's smiling!

Make eye contact.

This is a big one, and it can be hard to do. It’s important to look at your interviewer’s eyes and not elsewhere. Don’t look at the floor, don’t look down, don’t look at your hands (trust us on this one). It can sometimes be helpful to practice before going into an interview so that you know what it feels like when someone is making eye contact with you and what it feels like when they aren't.

Shake hands with a firm handshake.

You want to make a strong first impression, so you must shake hands firmly and confidently when greeting the interviewer. A limp handshake can be interpreted as nervousness or lack of confidence. However, don't overdo it either; a bone-crushing grip may cause your interviewer to wince in pain and regret ever asking you to interview them in the first place!

In the United States, a handshake, rather than a bow, salaam, wai, or kiss, is how we greet others. Both men and women shake hands, and either may offer their hand first. There are four steps to a handshake in Global Business & Social Dining Etiquette: RSVP to thank-you notes & everything in between (Ruiz, E. A., pp 27-28).

In some cultures, touching hands is offensive or prohibited between men and women. If this is the case, smile and use an alternate gesture, such as a slight bow. Make sure you greet the person respectfully and with genuine enthusiasm. Convey with words what the handshake would have expressed: “I am so glad to meet you.”

The United States-based organizations employ people of various cultures and often do business in many parts of the world. It’s a global economy, and we have diplomatic relations with many countries with customs that all professionals should know. While you might not get on a plane tomorrow, global handshake knowledge will make a difference when meeting and greeting others internationally. When in doubt, follow your host’s lead in meet-and-greet gatherings.

Let’s review.

  • Arrive early. Getting to the interview before the scheduled time will give you time to relax, focus, and prepare yourself mentally. If possible, arrive even earlier than expected.

  • Smile! Smiling shows that you are happy and confident in yourself and your abilities. It also softens your facial features and makes you appear more approachable.

  • Make eye contact with everyone who greets you during the interview process, including receptionists, administrative assistants, others waiting to be interviewed or waiting for interviews themselves, etc. The reason for this is simple: people will remember how much eye contact they made with others by looking at their body language during introductions after an interview or networking event.

  • Extend your hand for a handshake when introducing yourself or being introduced. Always stand when you’re introduced or are introducing other people to each other. You’re expected to shake hands when ending a transaction or leaving a business or social event.


It’s true; first impressions do count. The image you project when meeting someone for the first time can be permanent. I hope this article has helped you to prepare for your next interview.

An entire chapter is dedicated to tips and guidelines for a handshake in Global Business & Social Dining Etiquette: RSVP to thank-you notes and everything in between (Ruiz, E. A., pp. 27-37). Order the book here or go to

Source: published initially on USJoblink Blog | USJoblink on August 8, 2022


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