The first two minutes of your job interview are vital to whether you are taken seriously or not.
You need to Capitalize on it.
While the recruiter or hiring manager interviewing you might change her mind later if her first impression of you was poor, it is so much better to start the interview off with confidence, positivity, professionalism, and personality – all that will lead you to an amazing first impression. It’s much easier to maintain your good first impression throughout the interview rather than having to make up for a poor first impression.
Follow these outlined steps below to capitalize on the first two minutes of your interview and complete it with flying colors. Make those precious minutes count in your favor.
Job Interview Preparation
- Be sure to turn off your phone, tablet, laptop or other devices that could be disturbing during the interview. This shows respect, responsibility and professionalism. Those who forget to do this are seen as careless and not someone a recruiter or hiring manager would want to hire.
- Make sure your clothing is clean and ironed. Your clothing should look its best for the occasion. Use a lint roller to remove any pet hair or other debris. Shine your shoes so they aren’t dull. This shows the hiring manager that you were willing to put in some time and effort into your appearance.
- Dress appropriately. Remember that you can never overdress for a job interview, so don’t worry about dressing up, just do it. Clothing and accessories to avoid are flip flops, tank tops, crop tops, shorts, mini anything, shirts with a low V neck, clothes with holes in them, sunglasses (keep them in your car or tuck them away in your bag). Avoid wearing too much makeup as well. Go for a natural look.
- Be sure not to be chatty or convey anything personal in a public reception or waiting area. It’s best to keep to yourself but be aware of your surroundings. You may not think anyone’s watching, especially the hiring manager, but the receptionist will be reporting any bad behavior. Once you walk in that door you are on watch.
- Practice your smile. A genuine, kind smile is important. Some people don’t smile enough, which makes them come off as cold or indifferent. Practice during conversations with friends, family and store clerks. Remind yourself to smile when greeting and at appropriate times.
- Keep your personal effects to a minimum. Only bring in what is essential to the interview.
Assessing Your Job Qualifications
Mentally prepare yourself for the interview by knowing what you bring to the table. Be prepared with a folder containing a print out of the job description, an extra copy of your customized resume for this particular position, and some information about the company.
Bring proof of anything you’ve accomplished in your career including copies of diplomas, certifications, degrees, internships, affiliations, and anything you have done to help your employers.
Interview etiquette is what you would like to display upon introduction. A good rule of thumb is to play “follow the leader”. If a hand is outstretched for a meet and greet handshake, respond with the same amount of pressure while maintaining eye contact.
Smile warmly and engage your interviewer. if you’re worried about the length of eye contact use this trick: look into the hiring manager’s eyes and note her eye color. That’s enough time.
Feel safe in stating your eagerness to learn more about the opportunity. Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to show some personality. Otherwise, you’ll come off as a bit robotic.
Be very careful about what your body language is saying. Are you fidgeting, bouncing your knee, eye-shifting, or looking away? A large percentage of communication is done non-verbally.
When you first walk in do so with purpose and confidence, even if you’re not. Stand tall and maintain good posture. Use purposeful hand gestures or not at all. Speak clearly and slowly. Avoid crossing your arms or fiddling with your pen.
Your body language will say much more about what you are thinking and feeling than your words will. Practice good posture, which will help you remember to maintain good body language. Plus, it’s good for you!
Capitalize on the first two minutes of your job interview, because they are the most important ones. The first impression you give the recruiter or hiring manager is so important.
She will be checking you out and already making decisions about you from the moment she sees you. Make those thoughts and feelings good so she will be more likely to hire you for the job than someone else. Remember, smile, make eye contact, have a firm handshake, keep good posture, be yourself, dress well, and be prepared.