Interview Impression

By Clyde C. Lowstuter

Acclaimed social commentator and philanthropist, Will Rogers, once said, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”  Truer words have never been spoken.

HandshakeHow you behave and the impression you make in the first 60 seconds upon meeting someone will directly impact how they perceive you.  It may even influence a thumbs up / thumbs down for your employment candidacy – or your networking success.  Countless times we have seen the truism played out that “people want to be around people who are genuine and self-assured.”

The reality is that through the course of their discussions with you, interviewers will continue to calibrate their initial impressions of you and validate their beliefs, as viewed through the lens of their own biases.

If you do not quickly make a stellar first impression and establish trust, you might need to spend the next several hours trying to undo the uncertainty of that first meeting.  Here are some pre/post-interview tips:

  • First and foremost, get your head in the game and do the work.  Complete In Search of the Perfect Job interviewing worksheets and practice, practice, practice.
  • Visualize success. How effective would you be if you knew you could not fail?
  • Power up . . . but don’t be overly confident, lest you appear arrogant. Use the buoyancy from previous great meetings to lift your spirits and well-being in the current interview.
  • Listen before you speak.  You demonstrate the depth of your expertise more by the questions you ask, than by what you say.
  • Be insatiably curious about the interviewer’s core values, intellectual agility, and about the business, people, processes, and customers.  Note both what your intuitive sense is revealing versus what your intellectual self is contemplating.
  • Be yourself.  Focus on others, not yourself.  Balance being positive and optimistic with being objectively realistic.

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