That first impression can be a great beginning, or a quick ending to your interview.

Three areas of performance, which should be considered dangerous and deadly, are worth spending some time thinking about before your next interview.

1. Poor non-verbal communication image

It’s about demonstrating confidence

• Stand straight, and make good eye contact. (Note the color of the interviewer’s eyes.)

• Connect with a good, firm handshake. (There’s nothing like a limp response in a handshake.)

• Sit erect and lean forward in the chair, appearing interested and attentive. (Slumping denotes a lazy attitude.)

2. Poor verbal communication skills

Your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly.

• Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what they said.

• Observe your interviewer’s style and pace and match that style, adjusting your style and pace to match.

• Use appropriate language. (Beware of using slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics, or sexual preferences – these topics could get the door slammed very quickly.)

• Telling the interviewer more than they need to know could be a fatal mistake. (Too much information – particularly personal information – could get into some areas that are best not discussed in an interview.)