It goes without saying that first impressions are important, especially when it comes to job interviews. In an interview you want to show the potential employer that you are the best candidate for the job. To make an interview successful, follow these tips to make an outstanding first impression that will help you land the job of your dreams:

1.) Dress to impress

Although the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” is true, your potential employer will most likely be looking at what you are wearing as a sign of who you are and how you will conduct yourself as a potential employee. Dress the part—know what the appropriate attire is for the job you want; and for interviews, this is usually professional business attire.

2.) Arrive early

As a general rule of thumb, it is best to arrive no more than ten minutes early, unless otherwise stated. If you arrive more than ten minutes early, it might cause the interviewer(s) to feel pressured if they are not ready, and you may come across as too eager. That being said, definitely make it there on time. If you arrive late, that will most certainly not give you good first impression and may even cost you the interview as a whole if the people you are meeting with are on a time crunch.

3.) Come prepared

Always bring a few extra copies of your resume, even if you have already submitted a copy to the company. They might not have one handy, and if more than one person is interviewing you, you will be able to provide a copy for each person. This shows that you are prepared for the interview and have thought ahead. In addition to your resume, you should do your homework on the company before arriving to the interview. The last thing you want to be is stuck with a blank expression on your face when they ask you about their company! By researching the company beforehand, you will have the knowledge to answer any question and show the interviewer you are interested in their company.

4.) Take strategic pauses

Chances are you are going to be nervous, and that is okay! However, when it comes to answering questions, avoid using “like” and “um” while you are thinking of a response. If necessary, make a statement like, “let me think about that” while you collect your thoughts. Stopping to think before you answer questions can actually give a better first impression by showing that you thoughtful and careful in your responses.

With these tips you should leave the interview feeling confident and successful. Even if you don’t get that particular job, you gained experience in interviewing and meeting people for the first time. Making a great first impression may seem intimidating at first, but above all else, remember to stay true to yourself.