Have you ever glanced at a person and assumed they were successful, or decided right off the bat they were likely a bum? You are not alone. According to PsychCentral author Janice Wood, first impressions are more important than fact. The less time a person has to make a judgement, the more likely they will go with their gut long term. That’s why, when it comes to a job interview, first impressions are important to get right the first time. Here are a few tips on how to influence a hiring team with first impressions:
Body Language is often the first thing a person will notice. Often times we are unaware that being nervous or anxious can result in awkward body language that might give off the wrong impression. Becoming aware, in example, by improving your posture and sitting up straight while conversing, will show a level of confidence that will help convince an employer you are the right person for the job. Maintaining eye contact can also help, which will show you are engaged, attentive, and connecting with the interviewer.
Style is another tool that can improve your appearance and confidence while offering a great first impression. Style will help a person demonstrate their personality and assure employers you will show up to work looking neat, tailored, and appropriate. As Nicholas Rule, PhD. researched in his study for PsychCentral, it is nearly impossible to not judge a book by its cover. Because of this, people likely connect a neat and stylish person with one that is intelligent, organized, aware, and successful. Style is something that can be easily, so it’s important to keep this in mind before going into a job interview!
“I like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!” This quote by Will Ferrell’s character in the movie “Elf” pretty much sums up this tip for a first impression. Smiles can make a huge difference in a person’s first impression because it reinforces that a person is friendly, approachable, and cordial. An emotion and smile study by psychologist Paul Ekman at the University of California San Francisco shows that a full smile, even when it’s feigned, can reduce stress and actually make yourself and those around you happier. Being in a positive mood during an interview will leave a lasting first impression. Lastly, don’t be afraid to “smile” and introduce yourself to everyone on your first day of interviewing. This will be a great show of confidence and a friendly gesture to break the ice and show you will fit well with the culture.
4. Intelligence. Employers are looking for candidates who have a certain degree of intelligence when it comes to a particular job position. If the employer reads your resume and thinks you are competent and can add value to the company, you’ve already won half the battle. The next step is to prove all of that during the first-impression, also known as the first job interview. Employers will want to interview those who have a solid work experience, a college degree, or sparkling recommendations. Yet, the candidate needs to still impress the interviewer to get hired. Convince the interviewer you are more than what a piece of paper says. Speak clearly, express your thoughts and be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your past experiences, and the current job position you are applying for. Bringing a notepad and pen to the interview is a great indication you are detail oriented, eager to learn, and are interested to know everything about the job position. Make sure you are knowledgeable about the company too–you don’t want to enter a job interview with absolutely no clue about the organization!
5. Ask Questions: Asking questions on an interview is important when analyzing if you are a good fit for the company. When you ask questions, it indicates you’re paying attention, and also shows you are a serious candidate who is interested in understanding all aspects of the job position and organization before signing on. Listen to the interviewer and ask the right questions to decide if this is a journey you desire.
First impressions can be a positive lasting impression, so make sure your next business venture begins on the right foot!