Why you need to make best first impression
Typically, you focus on the difficult questions during interview preparation and how to respond them with STAR technique. However, 70% of interviewers form an opinion in the first 5 minutes of your interview. To put it in a different way, your outcome is decided even before you get a chance to come up with those insightful answers you practiced during your interview preparation.
To make a great first impression in the initial 5 minutes of your interview, check out the below tips and be successful in your next interview.
BE ON TIME
Your punctuality is a key indicator of the interest you show on the company and the job. Remember that the interviewer’s time is as important as your time and avoid making the interviewer wait for you in a job interview.
Being on time may not necessarily have a positive influence but being late will have a negative influence on how the interview pans out. So, it is best to announce yourself 5 minutes earlier than the scheduled time.
The first thing the interviewer will notice is your appearance and your attire. So, make sure you are dressed in an outfit that is professional and blends with the organization culture as well. This can be made possible only if you have done your research on the company culture as part of your interview preparation.
Reach out to any of your friends working in the company or ask the hiring manager on what the appropriate dress code for the interview would be. Display your personal brand without contradicting organization culture.
Engage in small talk
As part of your Interview preparation, spare some time to go through the interviewer profile on LinkedIn if you get the details in advance. This will give you some understanding of the person who will decide the outcome of the interview. Based on this research, identify some common areas that will allow you to build a connection or rapport at the start of the interview. You take the lead at the beginning of the interview and speak about this common area.
It will be a very good icebreaker and will let the interviewer see you as a person with common interest rather than just as an applicant.
Use your perfect elevator pitch
In most of the interviews, the very first question would be “Tell me about yourself” or a variation of the same question. Yet another seemingly simple question, but a very important one if you are to make a good first impression. The response to this question will not just give an idea of your professional background to the interviewer, but a preview of your soft skills as well including effective communication.
Practice the perfect elevator pitch as part of your preparation and make it count when presented with the opportunity.
Exhibit positive body language
Stay relaxed during the pleasantries and retain a smile on your face. If the interview is in person, then give a firm handshake and ensure you don’t have sweaty palms. Maintain eye contact while answering questions and try to mimic the body language of the interviewer as much as possible.
Stay devoted to the interview by keeping your phone in silent mode and putting it away where it will not disturb you during the interview.
Practice with Mock Interviews
Rehearse for the interview with a friend or someone in the family. If you can’t find someone due to any reason, prepare with mirror practice. If you think you need professional assistance, reach out to interview coaches and book mock interviews. Remember that practicing perfectly is the only way to become perfect.
To summarize, the impact created in the first five minutes of an interview dictates the course of the remaining duration. It is human tendency to form an opinion and difficult to change this in a span of 30-60 minutes. So, prepare and practice based on the inputs given in this article and try to maximize your only opportunity to make the first impression. "Be Ready, Always"