Practice, practice, practice!
Having hired hundreds of people over the last twenty-five years, I can tell you without hesitation that the first impression is one of the most important things to influence me on a particular candidate.
1. Your appearance counts. Clean, neat-appropriate clothing. Dress for the job you want.
2. Your clothes and accessories are to be classic and conservative; if in doubt, leave it out.
3. Maintain eye contact and smile—no one likes a sad sack.
4. Non-verbal communication is 80 to 90 percent of communication. Pay attention to your body language.
5. Your handshake can make or break a meeting; firm and strong—women, too!
6. Vocabulary is important as well. Use powerful verbs to describe your accomplishments.
7. Maintain a strong voice that conveys confidence and strength answer all questions.
Interviewing can be a full time job but you can accelerate your job search by practicing these steps. Try and practice impressions with a spouse or friend. Worst case, take a highly self-critical eye and practice in front of a mirror.