We all know about the importance of making a good first impression. Especially when you have a job interview with someone who might have never been trained in interviewing techniques. People will make up their minds within the first 20 seconds.
Whether we like it or not, when we meet someone – we decide if we like, trust and want to do business with that person within the first few seconds.
But, we rarely think about the first impression. How you can make a good first impression? Discover the small signals you don’t even know you’re sending out – and how to authentically manage them so people easily connect with you
There are three stages all life experiences have: it is the beginning, middle, and end. These three stages also occur in some form in all interviews: the beginning of the warm-up, the middle where question-and-answer happens, and the end of the close of the interview. All of them are important and each affects the next one.
Today we will talk about the warm-up, the most important stage. Even though it may account for only a small fraction of the time of the whole interview.
We all know about the importance of making a good first impression. Especially when you have a job interview with someone who might have never been trained in interviewing techniques. People will make up their minds within the first 20 seconds. So these seconds might define the outcome of the whole interview.
Are you intimidated by how crucial the first impression is? Don’t be! This is good news! If it takes only a few seconds to convince someone you are worth talking to, let’s supercharge this time and influence the entire interaction.
So if you are meeting the interviewer in person non-verbals become huge here. It is a little bit different for an interview done online, and we can talk about it another time. But for the face-to-face meeting body language is crucial.
People pick up on messages we often don’t even realize we’re sending through our body language. Our facial expressions, voice, posture reflect our mental and emotional condition. Because we don’t control this flow consciously, whatever is in our head will show up in our body language.
So if it is true that our body responds to the way we think and feel, but it is also equally true that our body, how we move, and how we act affect our mental state. The mind/body connection. Try this out – turn your attention inside out straight up your back, stand tall, take up your space, and smile – it is a winner pose – and notice how you feel. In contrast, in a stressful situation, if we turn our attention inward and start monitoring ourselves, we become more stressed and anxious, our body transmits exactly these signals. We fidget, we slouch and hunch, we shrink – this is a miserable state, is no fun, no confidence.
I am sure everyone can recall a situation when we had the experience of being a master of the situation, feeling calm and grounded. When we recall that situation and recall how we felt – we know exactly the mental state that makes our body language, words, and behaviours flow together and we express confidence.
The warm-up stage is usually, not in all companies, it is the stage of small talk. Don’t let your guard down if it appears that the interviewer wants to engage in what feels like small talk; these exchanges are as important as structured questions.
Let the interviewer starts the discussion, and be ready to answer one or two substantial questions right away. Here are some common openers:
- Why do you want to work here?
- What do you know about us?
- Tell us a little about yourself
Make sure you are prepared and ready to answer such questions as soon as your interview starts.
Take a small notebook, a pen, a list of questions you want to ask, a couple of copies of your resume, an outline of what you’ve learned about the organization, and maybe a print out of your correspondence about the position. Be prepared.
Stand up or sit up straight, maintain regular, but natural eye contact, turn your attention inside out and ace the interview!