Seven seconds is all it takes to make that initial impression, in the blink that it takes you to walk into the room your interviewers may have already decided whether you could fill the position.
Such a short period of time, yet paramount to your potential success. In those seconds you need to convey trust, confidence and great communication. Which can feel quite overwhelming ensuring you successfully pull off all at once?
That short introduction goes so much further than what you say. It begins with your appearance, your body language, your eye contact. There is a multitude of subliminal cues to consider that are all vital to the initial impression that you make.
Even if you’ve prepared and practised all the answers and questions you anticipate, if you haven’t prepared for those seven seconds, it could jeopardise it all.
So, what do you wear?
The clothing you choose to wear is an extension and reflection of your personality and capabilities. If you think you will look ‘too corporate’ in a suit? You won’t!
Suits or formal working clothes tend to connotate expertise and professionalism, although this doesn’t mean you have to dress uncomfortably, just professionally. And for your first interview that’s exactly what you want to show.
How do you use body language?
It’s important to show openness, it can be difficult if you’re nervous not to be closed and tense. But focusing on body language cues and remaining a calm posture can be helpful in managing your overall nerves.
How to have open body language?
Sitting with a straight back, your hands outwards and open, not tucked away in pockets or across your chest, showing them your openness and confidence. Greet your interviewer with a handshake that’s firm using their name when you greet them.
How do you use vocabulary to nail the introduction?
Aim if possible, to limit, if not remove completely ‘uhmmm’, ‘hmmms’ and ‘errrrs’. It can be hard when you’re nervous as sometimes they just slip out. Practice key sentences and make sure you can recite the important information off by heart!
Walking in with a smile is probably one of the best ways to show your confidence, approachability and trustworthiness all in one!