How to Impress a Hiring Manager in Less than 5 Minutes: Expert Tips and Strategies

Atticus Li
October 6, 2023

Finding a way to make an outstanding first impression in mere minutes can be nerve-wracking when you’re about to face a job interview. It’s crucial to note that 33% of hiring managers reportedly decide if they’ll hire a candidate within the first 90 seconds of meeting them.

This article will provide insightful strategies on how to impress your potential employer within those decisive few minutes at the beginning of your interview session.

Ready? Let’s begin our journey towards creating an unforgettable impression!

Key Takeaways

  • Arriving early for a job interview shows good time management skills and respect for the hiring manager’s schedule.
  • Maintaining eye contact and giving a firm handshake conveys confidence and professionalism to impress hiring managers.
  • Engaging in small talk, being polite to everyone, providing extra copies of your resume, and asking relevant questions can make a positive impression on hiring managers in less than 5 minutes.

Importance of the First 5 Minutes in an Interview

An interview starts the moment you step into the building. Being early is best, as it shows you are serious about the job. Arriving 10 to 15 minutes before your meeting can also give you time to calm down and prepare.

Never be late!

The hiring manager often begins forming an opinion of you in these first few minutes. Small things like a firm handshake or looking someone in the eye can make a big difference. These actions show that you have energy and confidence.

Also, your chat with others in the office matters too.

Don’t forget to be nice to everyone, even those not interviewing you! Even how polite you are to a receptionist may impact if you get hired or not! Remember: people will judge who they think you are within minutes of meeting each other.

How to Impress a Hiring Manager Quickly

Arrive early, maintain eye contact, engage in small talk, provide extra copies of your resume, and ask relevant questions to make a positive impression on hiring managers in less than 5 minutes.

Arriving Early

Get to the job interview ahead of time. Early arrival shows you respect the hiring manager’s schedule. It also paints a picture of a punctual worker who values time management. Be sure not to arrive too early though, 10–15 minutes before your interview is just right.

This gives you enough time for a comfort break or to get hydrated.

Switch off your phone once you’re there so nothing distracts you during the interview. Being calm and organised sends out positive vibes at first glance! Plus, it gives you some moments alone to gain confidence and project a friendly yet professional air.

Polite Interaction with Everyone

Treat everyone as your interviewer. This means being polite and friendly to all people you meet, from the receptionist to the hiring manager. Your behavior can affect their view of you.

A receptionist’s feedback about you can even impact your chances of getting hired. Show a stellar personality because it leaves a strong first impression on your potential future employer.

Maintaining Eye Contact

Eye contact plays a big role in job interviews. Keep your eyes on the hiring manager. This tells them you are smart and likable. It also leaves a strong, good mark about you in their mind.

Plus, it’s an easy way to show that you care about what is being said without having to say any words at all!

Firm Handshake

A firm handshake is an important part of making a positive impression during a job interview. It shows confidence and professionalism, which are qualities that hiring managers look for in candidates.

Research has shown that a strong handshake can make you appear more trustworthy and competent. So, when you meet the hiring manager, be sure to give them a firm handshake while maintaining eye contact.

This simple gesture can go a long way in impressing the hiring manager and setting the tone for a successful interview.

Engaging in Small Talk

Engaging in small talk before an interview is important because it can greatly influence the hiring manager’s impression of you. Research has shown that building rapport through casual conversation at the beginning of an interview can have a positive impact on your overall performance.

Those first few moments are crucial, as they set the tone for the rest of the interview. By engaging in friendly and professional small talk, you can establish a connection with the interviewer and make a strong first impression.

So, take advantage of this opportunity to showcase your personality and build rapport by asking about their day or discussing shared interests. Remember, even though it may seem like idle chatter, small talk can play a significant role in your success during an interview.

Providing Extra Copies of Your Resume

Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview. This is important because it makes the hiring manager’s job easier. They may want to share your resume with others in the company or refer back to it during the interview.

Having extra copies shows that you are prepared and organized, which can leave a positive impression on the hiring manager. So, remember to bring those extra copies just in case!

Asking Relevant Questions

During a job interview, asking relevant questions early on can make a positive impression and show your genuine interest in the position. By asking thoughtful questions, you demonstrate your eagerness to learn more about the company and the role you’re applying for.

It also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable insights that can help guide the rest of the interview conversation. So, don’t be afraid to ask about specific responsibilities, team dynamics, or company culture — it shows that you’ve done your research and are invested in finding the right fit for both parties involved.

Understanding What Hiring Managers Look For

Hiring managers look for candidates who have the ability to manage, a clear understanding of the job role, relevant experience, excitement about the opportunity, and alignment with the company culture.

Ability to Manage

Hiring managers look for candidates who have the ability to manage. This means being able to handle responsibilities, tasks, and projects effectively. It’s important to showcase your organizational skills and demonstrate that you can prioritize work and meet deadlines.

Additionally, showing your problem-solving abilities and decision-making skills will impress hiring managers. They want to see that you can take initiative, make sound judgments, and take control when needed.

Being able to manage also includes having strong leadership qualities such as delegating tasks, motivating others, and resolving conflicts. Overall, highlighting your ability to manage will make a positive impression on hiring managers during an interview.


- Arriving early for a job interview shows good time management skills.

Understanding of the Job Role

To make a positive impression on hiring managers, it’s important to show that you understand the job role. This means having knowledge of what the position entails and being able to articulate how your skills and experience align with the requirements.

It also involves demonstrating excitement about the opportunity and showing that you have researched the company. By showcasing your understanding of the job role, you can convey your suitability for the position and increase your chances of impressing hiring managers in those crucial first five minutes.

Relevant Experience

Hiring managers look for relevant experience when evaluating candidates in an interview. They want to see if you have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job. Research shows that demonstrating your past experience can have a tangible benefit on your chances of getting hired.

For example, if you are applying for a digital marketing role, highlighting your previous experience in this field can show that you have the knowledge and expertise required. It’s important to do your homework and understand what the company is looking for in terms of experience, so you can emphasize those aspects during the interview.

Excitement About the Opportunity

Hiring managers want to see that you are genuinely excited about the opportunity. Show enthusiasm for the job and company by doing your research beforehand and asking thoughtful questions during the interview.

This will demonstrate your interest in the role and help you stand out from other candidates. Additionally, being able to articulate how your skills and experience align with the company’s mission and values can further impress hiring managers.

By expressing your excitement about the opportunity, you can leave a positive impression on the interviewer. Research shows that building rapport through small talk before an interview starts can impact their overall impression of you as well.

Alignment with the Company Culture

To impress a hiring manager, it’s important to show that you align with the company culture. Researching about the company and its values before the interview will help you understand what they are looking for in an employee.

During the interview, you can highlight how your skills and experience fit well with their mission and values. By expressing enthusiasm about the opportunity and demonstrating that you have done your homework on the company, you will make a positive impression on the hiring manager.

Additional Tips for Impressing a Hiring Manager

Researching the company and interviewer can demonstrate your dedication and preparedness for the position.

Researching the Company and Interviewer

It is important to research the company and interviewer before your job interview. This can help you impress the hiring manager. Here are some tips for researching:

  • Look up information about the company on their website and social media pages.
  • Read reviews of the company online to get an idea of its reputation.
  • Visit job websites to see if there are any recent news articles or press releases about the company.
  • Search online for information about the interviewer, such as their professional background or any articles or interviews they have been mentioned in.
  • Look for any recent news or updates about the company that you can mention during the interview.

Highlighting Unique Qualifications

To impress a hiring manager in less than 5 minutes, it’s important to highlight your unique qualifications. One way to do this is by bringing extra copies of your resume, which shows that you are prepared and detail-oriented.

Another strategy is to ask relevant questions early on in the conversation. This not only demonstrates your interest in the position but also showcases your unique qualifications. Additionally, building rapport through small talk before the interview starts can leave a positive impression and further highlight your unique qualifications.

Lastly, making eye contact when meeting the hiring manager conveys likability and intelligence, further emphasizing your unique qualifications. By utilizing these strategies, you can make a strong first impression and stand out from other candidates quickly and effectively.

Asking questions early on in the conversation can showcase your unique qualifications and demonstrate interest in the position.

Demonstrating Interpersonal Skills

When meeting a hiring manager, it is important to demonstrate your interpersonal skills. This means showing that you can effectively communicate and interact with others. One way to do this is by engaging in small talk before the interview starts.

By building rapport through casual conversation, you can create a positive impression and make the interviewer feel more comfortable with you. Additionally, asking questions early on in the conversation shows your interest in the position and allows you to guide the rest of the interview based on their responses.

Demonstrating strong interpersonal skills can help showcase your ability to work well with others and make a good impression on hiring managers.


Impressing a hiring manager in less than 5 minutes is crucial for a successful job interview. By arriving early, being polite to everyone, maintaining eye contact, giving a firm handshake, engaging in small talk, providing extra copies of your resume, and asking relevant questions, you can make a positive first impression.

The ability how to impress a hiring manager in less than 5 minutes can significantly impact your job search success. Leveraging the expertise of a headhunter can be a game-changer in this regard.

A skilled headhunter possesses in-depth knowledge of industry trends, understands the specific needs of employers, and can provide tailored advice to help you stand out quickly. With their guidance, you can confidently present yourself as the ideal candidate for the job, increasing your chances of securing your dream position and advancing your career.

Understanding what hiring managers look for and highlighting your unique qualifications will further impress them. So remember these strategies and tips to showcase your skills and personality from the moment you walk into the interview room!

See what else we have on this subject.

How to Pitch Yourself for a Job Without a Traditional Interview

How to Ace Video Interviews Every Time: Video Interview Tips

How to Prepare for Common Behavioral Questions for Interviews

Explore Advantages of Mock Interviews: A Comprehensive Guide

Interview Success Tips: Research Your Company and Interviewer

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