Did you know that when going for a job interview, the interviewer has made their mind up in the first five seconds as to whether they like you or not? Have you ever had a situation in which you’ve met someone and had an instant dislike. Or you’ve met someone and hit it off immediately. Studies have shown that our subconscious picks up on things such as appearance, body language, voice and smell; immediately creating an impression of that person.
I have never known any manager hire someone they did not like. So what common mistakes should you avoid to help create a positive first impression?
1. Never be late. This is the worst possible start to an interview. Make sure you turn up on time and not too early. 5 minutes before the scheduled time is best. If you are running late please call your interviewer at least 10 minutes before the interview to explain you have been delayed.
2. Whilst waiting in reception don’t sit down. When your interviewer turns up you want to be standing, with purpose and looking confident, not slouched in a chair. I once worked with someone who refused to hire anyone if they did not stand to shake their hand.
3. Avoid the wet fish handshake. Make sure you give a confident handshake but not too firm and please, not two handed. If you suffer from sweaty palms use the bathroom or carry a spare handkerchief with you.
4. Don’t forget the interviewers name. The sweetest sound to anyone is the sound of their own name. If you get it wrong or forget it, you have just made yourself an enemy. If the name is hard to pronounce ask the receptionist how to pronounce the name before your interview.
5. Don’t lose eye contact. If you are looking at your shoes whilst shaking the interviewers hand they will think you have something to hide.
The best way to approach any initial introduction is with confidence. By following these simple steps you will find the interview will begin in a positive manner.
You can find more tips on how to improve first impressions by signing up to our newsletter or visiting the website.
Dexter Cousins is an Executive Head Hunter and has been helping people with their careers for over ten years. As a consultant to Global organizations, Dexter has advised companies in the UK, Europe, USA, Asia and Australia on best practice hiring processes. He is motivated by helping people reach their career goals and provides coaching and counseling on job search and interview success. Visit http://www.careersassistant.com to receive regular tips and techniques.