The First 10 Minutes Of An Interview

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The First 10 Minutes Of An Interview

The impression you make during the first 10 minutes of your job interview could very well set the course for the rest of your career. Employers are looking at more than just your resume – they are looking at you! In order to help you succeed, we have compiled a short list of practical things that you can do to make sure your initial impression is one that they will not forget.

Project Enthusiasm Right Away

As you are preparing for your job interview, you should know that  it begins the moment you arrive at the employer’s office. It is imperative that you project enthusiasm and confidence from the moment you walk in the door. Employers form opinions of candidates very quickly, which means that the more subtle points of interviews, such as giving a firm handshake, maintaining eye contact and practicing good posture, are very important. In addition to providing strong responses to a hiring manager’s questions, candidates must project enthusiasm and a professional demeanor from the outset of the discussion.

Dress It Up

Making rushed decisions on your wardrobe choice is never a good idea. You want to make the best possible impression on your future employer, so I would recommend candidates dress for success. Overdress rather than under-dress especially in a business environment, give a firm handshake and use eye contact.

Prepare with Examples

The core lesson that many recruiting experts teach interviewers is to reserve any judgments/decisions about a candidate until after the first 30 minutes of an interview. Yet, we all know that this is almost impossible to do – we all make judgments on people based on first impression!

What we’ve seen as a very efficient way for a candidate to impress any interviewer is to thoroughly prepare for an interview. For instance, if you are a graphic artist, come with samples of your work. Similarly, if you are in sales, be prepared to present details of your performance from the past couple of years.

Clean Your Fingernails

Many hiring managers go on first impression and spend the rest of the interview justifying their decision. First impression is everything. Learn as much as possible about the hiring manager and the people you are meeting with before the interview. It is always a good icebreaker to mention some of your common interests or ties and let the conversation naturally slide into the interview. Engage the interviewer in conversation. Appearance also has a lot to do with that first impression  — dress smart and appropriate for the interview and for the job position. I have seen perfectly capable and qualified candidates rejected because they forgot to polish their shoes or came in with dirty fingernails.

If the hiring manager is conducting an in-person interview, they have usually already seen your resume and have a good feel for your qualifications. The first 10 minutes is more about the “culture” fit than the qualifications, so make sure that you are ready to make a great first impression!


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