Interview Tip #2: First Impressions

It only takes 5 seconds to make a first impression…so how did you do in that interview? Do you feel good about your first impression, or are you unsure? Maybe you were nervous, didn’t present yourself well or blew it completely.

This topic of first impressions is one that I have been studying for more than a decade. I have taught this subject in front of diverse crowds – both large and small. I’ve learned that we really do size each other up quickly in those first 5 seconds, often labeling people based on our first impressions. It is at this point that we filter other data we get about the person, and that data is powerful.

I’m not telling you this to instill deep-seated fear or panic in you, but so you can learn from this. Use this information to think about what first impression you want to portray in a job interview. Then take a look in the mirror, test your hand shake, and evaluate your eye contact skills. Are you pleased with them, or could they use a little work? Not sure? Ask a friend or family member to role play with you.

Focusing on these three things – appearance, hand shake and eye contact – and doing them well will help you feel more confident, so you can sail through that first 5 seconds with your potential employer.

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