University of Wisconsin–Madison

Create a Strong First Impression

You only get one chance to make a good first impression.  To create a positive impression, it is critical that you manage the fine details of the interview  process.

When invited to interview learn as much as possible about the logistics of your interview:

  • Confirm the date and time of your interview as it is scheduled.
  • Learn the location of the interviw so that you know exactly where you need to be.
  • Ask about the format of the interview and the schedule for the day.
  • Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early for your interview.
  • Bring additional copies of your résumé and list of references with you.

Manage your image at the interview.  Open your interview with a strong introduction, create an elevator speech.

After the interview:

  •  Make notes about your impressions and observations.  Reflect on what went well and  on steps to take to be better prepared for future interiews.
  • Record important dates and future timelines.
  • Note the names of people that interviewed and to whom you met if you were unable to obtain business cards.

Send thank you notes within 48 hours to all of the people who interviewed you or made arrangements for your interview. Timeliness and sincere gratitude are the keys to successful thank you notes.

For more details about creating a positive, professional image, review the information at the links found below.