First Impressions – Interview Tips
FIRST IMPRESSION MADE IN UNDER 5 SECONDS!!!!
By Tiro Talents
In that tiny window a potential employer has already started to form there impression of you. This first impression will dictate the mood of the rest of the interview.
When we meet a new person our brain will start to make judgements instantly. “The link between facial features and character may be tenuous at best, but that doesn’t stop our minds from sizing other people up at a glance,” says Princeton University psychologist Alex Todorov in a recent study.
“We decide very quickly whether a person possesses many of the traits we feel are important, such as likeability and competence, even though we have not exchanged a single word with them. It appears that we are hard-wired to draw these inferences in a fast, unreflective way.”
Eliot Hoppe, a leading expert on body language agrees. Hope says that hiring managers, while they may not even be conscious of it, “size up” a candidate for the position, right from the first glance.
Within the first 4 seconds of you meeting a potential employer they will have already answered four questions:
1) Do they like you?
2) Do they trust you?
3) Are you safe?
4) Who do you remind them of ?
Unfortunately, your chances of landing the job can be sunk just because you bear a passing resemblance to the bully who used to pick on the hiring manager in school. That’s how powerful these first impressions and subconscious associations can be.
With that in mind, here are some things for you to consider when trying to make the best 1st impression.
When you first meet your interviewer, smile. Smiling makes a person seem more personable, sociable and confident.
Have a good handshake
My headmaster at school drummed this into us and it still sticks with me today. A good handshake is an important part of making a great first impression. A well timed, firm but not aggressive handshake says you are confident, social and professional. A weak, finger-tip or overly-macho handshake can give the impression that you lack confidence or basic social skills.
Use proper body language
When it comes to first impressions, your body language goes a long way to demonstrating that you are competent and confident. Sit up straight in your chair with your feet firmly on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides, or use them to make friendly, conversational gestures. Crossing your arms can indicate that you are uncomfortable or possibly hiding something or are closed off to what they are saying to you.
Slouching, fidgeting, and avoiding eye contact can all give the impression that you are uncomfortable, usually from a lack of confidence or of interest in being there.
Be positive and friendly
Don’t let the job interview be a one-way interrogation. Turn it into a pleasant dialogue between two interesting people. Likeability matters, hiring managers are going to hire someone whose company they enjoy. Nail the ice breaker. Tell engaging stories. Ask smart questions.
Show energy and confidence
Think positive. Thinking and acting confident actually becomes self-fulfilling, making you genuinely more confident in your abilities and in your chances of acing the interview. That whole saying, “fake it till you make it”. Since interviewers are looking for someone energetic and enthusiastic about the job, acting like you are, showing them that you are, will help you make the right first impression.
There’s not a great deal you can do about that first 4 seconds of meeting someone, but most job interviews last more than four seconds. That’s your window of time to demonstrate who you really are and what you can do.