First impressions might not be everything but they certainly set the bar. The saying goes that 80% of a decision is mostly made within 5minutes of meeting. Both parties will have a set of preconceptions from the lead up to the interview itself, which is why it is crucial to not risk all the hard work in the lead up due to unnecessary mishaps.

A couple of weeks back we chatted about the all-important Skype interview. This included tips and tricks to make sure the screen isn’t going to get in the way of you and your next dream job.  This week we are talking about first impressions! The thing about first impressions is that it goes beyond what you say it is how you show up and how you make the other person feel.

We have got you covered with 3 simple check-ins to ensure you are prepared to make those first impressions really count.

william-iven-19843-unsplashThe precursor

So what is happening before the interview?  The interviewer is thinking about a multitude of factors – if the candidate can deliver in the classroom, if values match, flexibility, how they would represent the school, interact with teachers and an entire story based from your CV data! They want to assess how you match these requisites so behaviour that goes against any of there preconceptions in a negative way can influence the situation negatively.  So what to do about it?

Preparation is key. These are the three most crucial first impression factors to consider. Let us know if you have any of your own!

Be on time.

brooke-lark-194253-unsplashPerhaps the biggest of all fail-safe preps is just to be on time. Actually, not just on time, but early.  Picture this, the interviewer finished up a little early with the person before you, they glance outside to call the next interviewee. That is you, but you are not there. First impressions are starting on a negative. If it is something beyond your control make sure you call and explain or leave a polite message to salvage any pre-damage.

Be well presented.

So, you have reached the interview on time; fully prepared, but with an unironed shirt or dress.   The interviewer is trying to picture you as a future colleague, and if you are scruffy they will imagine that is how you will present yourself in front of parents, board members, at conferences etc. It seems like a simple request, but turn up smart, clean and organized.

Be Authentic.

ian-schneider-66374-unsplashThe advice ‘be relaxed’ is easier said than done, but it is useful to try to do something about controlling your nerves without being too laid back to give the impression of indifference. If you are nervous, it is ok. It shows you are human. It is better to acknowledge the nerves than put on a complete show-they will see through it instantly. If you try to put on a show for the interview, you may be a great actor and get away with it and be offered the job, but it could end badly and you will end up delivering something different from what was promised at the interview, stressing out both parties.

Do you have any stories about first impressions? Any interviews that have gone wrong? Ones that have gone well? Reach out to us at



Explore. Connect. Share.
We're the world's leading community of international teachers. More than just a job search, Teacher Horizons is your online home, wherever your journey takes you.