Did you know that you have about 10 seconds from the moment you walk through the doors of an interview room to win over your interviewer? During this time, your interviewer will be looking at the clothes you wear, the way you stand, and will evaluate the grip of your handshake. From this information, they will form an opinion of you, your abilities, your personality, and will have already decided whether you are right for the job. Scary, I know!
The truth is, first impressions count. And when it comes to job interviews, your resume and education will get you to the interview table, but itâs your interpersonal and communication skills that will get you the job.
Today’s article is the first part of a two-part series on job interviews. In this article I will reveal two crucial tips to interviewing with success. Next week, I will reveal to you three more vital tips you can use at your next job interview.
- Dress For the Industry.
When you walk into an interview room, your appearance is the first thing your interviewer will notice. I’m not going to talk to you about stains, tears, transparent clothing, cleavage etc. I’m sure you’re already aware of those classic interview faux pas. What I want to share with you is a strategy to help you convince your potential employer that you are the right fit for the job: Dress for the industry. Every industry has a particular style of clothing that is commonly worn. It’s almost like a uniform that says “I fit into this group”. In traditional accounting or law firms, people tend to wear classic suits in navy, charcoal, or black. In more creative industries, such as public relations or advertising, you can be more creative with colour and style (take a look at “The Secret of Colour for a Powerful, Professional Image‘ for ideas on colour). Why is this important for interviews? People like others who they can relate to. Within the first 10 seconds, your interviewer will be looking for clues to see 1) whether you will fit into the company culture, 2) whether you will fit into their team, and ultimately 3) whether you are like them. Choose clothing that clearly gives these clues as soon as you walk through the door and youâve already won valuable points.
- Use Your Hands and Lean Forward When Making a Point.
Interviewers often look for signs in your body language that show you’re confident, capable and enthusiastic. When you’re telling them about your education or work history, you need to explain everything in a positive light, and it helps to use your hands and lean forward when making a point. Keeping your hands above the table shows you’re honest. Using your hands while talking shows you’re enthusiastic. Leaning forward shows you care. For more tips on Body Language, take a look at ‘Body Language Secrets for a Powerful, Professional Image’.
Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, but you can prepare yourself to make sure the impression you give is powerful.
*Photo used in header image above: courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net