The first meeting with a person is often decisive, regardless of the context (professional, friendly or romantic). More specifically, the first seconds of an exchange are crucial and will have an impact on the continuation of any relationship.
Without realizing it, our eyes quickly pick up tiny pieces of information that are simultaneously analyzed by the brain. These elements, as subtle as they are, form what is called the “first impression”. Body posture, mouth shape, eye movements, gait and clothing will influence our judgment (favorable or unfavorable) of a person even before they have spoken.
If you are looking for a job, you are not immune to this phenomenon. The first impression is just as important in this context since it is after all a professional relationship that begins.
A few seconds to make a good impression
If you are looking for a job, your first goal is to gain positive attention from a company, often starting with sending your resume.
When it comes time to introduce yourself to the potential employer (over the phone, in person or in person), the same “flash judgment” phenomenon occurs. Usually, you have about 30 seconds to make a good (or bad) impression. You must therefore think in advance to optimize this space-time so that it is to your advantage.
Here are 7 tips to maximize your chances of making a good first impression on your interviewer in the context of a job search.
Smile, you are being watched! The look A posture that inspires confidence An affirming tone of voice Listening Politeness, always relevant A perceptible interest
1 / Smile, you are being watched!
Impossible not to speak of this star who often has the first role on stage: the smile.
If you are stressed out about the job interview, as most people are, you will tend to focus on your breathing and sometimes forget to smile. So you have to think about smiling, even if it is not in your nature to face a stranger.
In this way, the employer will quickly have a positive impression of you as the brain is drawn to the traits associated with kindness and happiness. Communication will also be established more easily, because your interlocutor may offer you a smile in return. Result: the atmosphere will be more relaxed unlike what your stomach feels!
2 / The look
If you are a reserved person or the job interview intimidates you, you need to pay special attention to your eyes.
The place where you look, your eyelid movements and your ability to look at the interlocutor will have an influence on his perceptions. By looking the employer in the eye, you are projecting candor, honesty and confidence.
For the more embarrassed, here’s a tip: imagine a point between the eyes and look at it. This is easier than actually staring into a person’s eyes, and it will go unnoticed.
3 / A posture that inspires confidence
When you are facing the employer, pay attention to your posture, whether for a virtual interview or in person. For example, do not sit in the same way as if you were among friends, favor a straight back. Avoid resting your elbows on the table or desk in front of you. Also be careful not to cross your arms, as this can be interpreted as an unconscious closing gesture.
Ideally, your hands are free of any objects you might tend to play with, such as a pencil, paper, or your keys. The repetitive “click” of a pen or the tapping of fingers on a desk are irritants that can interfere with a discussion.
As nervous tics, repeatedly touching your face, hair, or mouth can make it look like you’re under stress. You probably are, but the goal at this point is to project control and confidence in yourself.
4 / An affirmative tone of voice
Beyond the physical elements, you can work upstream on other aspects that help to forge a positive first impression.
Among other things, your “way of speaking” (words used, tone of voice and rate of speaking) is very important when you approach an employer for the first time. Since you want to interest your interlocutor, your dynamism must be heard!
How? ‘Or’ What? Here are some ideas:
Speak loudly enough (rely on the interlocutor’s “non-verbal” to validate that he can hear you well) Breathe between your sentences to moderate your flow (this also helps with stress management) “Ar ti cu lez” , especially on the phone, because you can’t read your lips Vary your intonations (the opposite of monotone) Avoid onomatopoeias like “uh”, “blah” as well as colloquial expressions like “tse”, “genre” and “faque”
Obviously, the point isn’t to take singing lessons to change your voice, but just to work on the things you have control over to make a good impression.
5 / Listening
Beyond words, listening is essential for good communication. During a job interview, you will talk about yourself more than your interlocutor. You will be asked several questions which you will need to answer in order to make your mark.
To make sure you answer the questions correctly, pay attention to the interviewer, both verbally and “non-verbally”. If you are unsure of the meaning of a question, feel free to ask the person to repeat it. You can also rephrase in your own words to validate your understanding. It is also possible to take notes (key words), especially for “scenario” type questions where several important elements are discussed.
Certain behaviors can give you clues about the perceptions of your interlocutor (nod of approval, taking notes, looking at the watch, smiling, etc.). Without guaranteeing that you make a good impression in the eyes of an employer, paying attention to non-verbal cues is another great communication skill.
6 / Politeness, still relevant
Regardless of your age and that of the employer, use the address first. I advise you to switch to the tutorial only if your interlocutor invites you to do so.
Another timeless polite behavior is to wait for the employer to shake your hands before doing so. Especially in these times of a pandemic, you risk creating discomfort if the person dreads this type of physical contact.
Finally, in the digital age, we tend to forget that we carry our cell phone with you. If possible, consider turning it off before your interview. Do not rely on the “silence” or “vibration” functions, as any noise, no matter how subtle, can interfere with your application.
7 / Perceptible interest
Finally, most of the elements mentioned provide information about your motivation or your interest.
Whether it is through a dynamic tone of voice, an upright and confident posture or a sincere smile, your interlocutor assesses your level of interest based on multiple elements. As with the “first impression”, it’s the little details that make the difference.
In the context of a job search, your objective is to be selected from among the other candidates. For his part, the employer (or his representative) must quickly perceive that you did not choose him at random.
In any relationship that begins, everyone likes to know that they are interested in them. When you talk to an employer, show that you have learned about their business and their products or services. Above all, mention what particularly interests you about the organization and the desired position. This simple method is a great way to set yourself apart from other applicants and leave a good impression.
In short, I hope I have convinced you of the importance of these little details that forge the famous “first impression”. If you are looking for a job, there is still time to refine these elements over which you have control and after, put yourself in “operation seduction” mode!