Never a truer adage that you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression than in a job interview. Studies have evidenced someone will have formed judgements about you within four minutes of meeting you and that those judgements will inform their subsequent impressions (known as the Halo effect). So what can you do to ensure that you maximise those crucial early stages of the interview process?
The truth is none of this is rocket science. It is however about applying some fundamental principles of simple human behaviour that can make for a successful outcome.
Undeniably we are all nervous when it comes to job interviews. Take great comfort from the fact that the person on the other side of the table is likely to be as, if not more, nervous than you are.
So what about some practical tips, what is that you can specifically do to ensure maximum impact in such a small time scale?
Number one, make direct eye contact. It shows you are interested, engaged, focused, ready to do business. Be careful of fixing a steely stare! However eye contact evidences an inner confidence and strength that will prove invaluable no matter how nervous you may be feeling inside.
Number two, smile! This will help with ensuring the eye contact doesn’t end up coming across as the stare of a serial killer! This should be a genuine, warm smile. If the person you are meeting does little to provoke such warmth, have something in mind that does! This will also help to ensure that warmth is reciprocated.
Number three, make a strong introduction. Specifically, “my name is Lee Cooper, it is a pleasure to meet you”. The emphasis is on “meet you”. We all love people who are interested in us. Making the specific point before the interview is underway that you are interested in the person who has the potential to play a vital role in shaping your future prosperity ought to be obvious.
Number four, a firm handshake. No vice like grip, this is not an opportunity to evidence the strength of your forearm! However a firm handshake evidences confidence and strength of character that will be vital to your success.
All of the above cost nothing and yet by investing in them you have the ability to improve your success rate at interview. Start practicing today.