Did you know that it only takes 0.1 seconds for your interviewers to form an opinion about you? In fact, research indicates that opinion can last for up to two years.
The moment you walk into an interview, you are being evaluated based on your appearance, body language, and personality traits. Knowing this, what can you do to establish a first impression that fosters a good, professional relationship with your interviewers as soon as you meet?
Here are some scientifically-proven ways to curate a phenomenal first impression with your interviewers and increase your chances of getting a job offer.
Prepare your look
There are a lot of factors that affect both confidence and the way others perceive you in the professional world, one of the most influential being your physical appearance.
One survey revealed that 56% of women and 43% of men are dissatisfied with their overall appearance. Pair that statistic with the fact that self-perception directly impacts typical human experiences, like meeting new people, the nature of their interactions, and overall satisfaction in your day-to-day life.
Like it or not, our appearance can either make or break the interview, and individual insecurities can ruin the confidence you exude to your interviewers. For example, baldness for men or body-image issues for women often lead to self-consciousness which can prevent you from being yourself and having a comfortable conversation. Don’t allow these insecurities to interfere with your self-confidence. You can try activities that boost self-esteem, or work to address your specific issues, whether that’s by talking to a doctor about a treatment that slows hair loss, or speaking with a therapist about any body-image issues hurting your confidence. Your self-esteem affects all areas of your life– the romantic, social, and professional– so take care of yourself, either physically or emotionally, so you can show off your best qualities to your interviewers the moment you meet them.
For more information on the importance of physical appearance for your first impressions, see the infographic, created by hims, below:
Consider your non-verbal communication
Believe it or not, you could be communicating messages to others that you’re not aware of. How, do you ask? Through your body language. The gestures you make and the way your body is positioned can contribute to your interviewers’ perception of you right away.
In fact, experts claim that 60-65% of your communication is non-verbal. They also agree that your ability to master non-verbal communication is indicative of a higher emotional intelligence, which is a valuable asset to bring to a team and an organization as a whole.
With that being said, you need to go into an interview knowing what non-verbal cues can rub interviewers the wrong way. When it comes to your face, keep your brow relaxed and smile periodically throughout conversations to reveal your attentiveness and even trustworthiness. In regard to gestures, keep your hands open and visible to appear more approachable. Finally, avoid fidgeting with your hands or feet to come across as more self-assured and impress your interviewers with your high level of confidence.
Establish a bond
It’s common for people to be a bit shy or standoffish when meeting someone new, especially for those who are introverted or even lack confidence in general. You don’t know what to say or how to act because you’ve never met these professionals who have such a great deal of control over your future.
However, the Similarity/Attraction Theory claims that humans are more likely to be drawn to other individuals with similar interests, personality traits, and even physical characteristics.
Therefore, you should make an effort early on to ask semi-personal questions about your interviewers; get to know them. Do they like sports? What’s the last movie they’ve seen? Where are they from? The earlier you can find similar interests or characteristics, the stronger the bond between the two of you will be, and the better the first impression you will leave on them, increasing your chances of landing the position.
It’s completely understandable to feel nervous or uneasy before an interview. But, it’s important that you exude confidence right from the start of the meeting, despite the pre-interview jitters. Take some of these tips into consideration when meeting colleagues for the first time and you’ll develop better relationships, get more job offers, and find many more career opportunities.