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Think You Made a Bad First Impression? Here is How to Correct It

As much as you try to prepare for a job interview, you can’t predict everything. Unexpected traffic mishap slows you down so you arrive late and frazzled. Your nerves make you short with the receptionist and you call the interviewer by the wrong name. Believe it or not, things like this can happen to all of us. They key is to quickly and gracefully recover from that first impression and replace it with a new (job-winning) one.

Handle it on the spot.

Don’t play the blame game. Apologize for your lateness, admitting that you should have left earlier, checked traffic reports or taken a test run at the same time of day. You’re not only admitting your mistake, but coming up with quick solutions. The hiring manager wants to see that you are a problem-solver, not that you think the universe is conspiring against you.

Follow up via email

If you were frazzled and took it out on the receptionist, apologize right away. Remember that your interview starts the minute you walk in the door. Your treatment of employees, how you use your time in the waiting room and any other behavior could all be scrutinized.

Make a note of the receptionist’s name and send her an email when you send your other thank you emails. If you called someone by the wrong name, be sure that you have it correct – including spelling it correctly when you send your thank you notes.

Bad Impressions you can avoid:

Improper dress. Check their website or call HR. You usually can’t go wrong with a suit in all but the most casual environments.

Clammy handshake. Keep a tissue or a handkerchief in your pocket or use the restroom when you get there and wash your hands. Be sure not to clench your fists while you wait.

Rambling answers. When your future is on the line, it’s easy to be nervous. Prepare as much as you can for standard questions, have examples and anecdotes that demonstrate your selling points ready and take a deep breath before answering.

If you’d like to learn more about job-winning interview strategies or finding your next great job, why not sign up with Synerfac? We connect you with rewarding opportunities at great employers. One of them may be right for you!