Making first impression during the interview.
Studies show that first impression of an individual are formed in less than four seconds. You can’t really ask or answer many questions in four seconds, so what does that tell you about first impressions?
They are formed almost entirely from visual, non-verbal cues. How you look the way you are dressed, the way you walk, how you smell (easy on the fragrance), and how you greet someone after an introduction are all major contributors to forming a positive first impression.
Studies also show that once that first impression has been formed, it is almost impossible to reverse. Meaning: if you start out on the wrong foot, your interview is basically done. If they don’t like what they see in the first four seconds, nothing you say or do after that will change their minds. It is just human nature.
I’m asked with some frequency what is the most important aspect of interviewing effectively. The answer is making a solid first impression. I cannot overstate how critical this is. During an interview, many people make bad first impressions, whether it’s weak handshake, chewing gum in the interview, or sloppy paperwork (just to name a few). It absolutely does not matter how well the interview goes after that.
Once that opinion has formed in the mind of your interviewer, which happens in a matter of seconds, the result is basically carved in stone.
There isn’t one singular component to making a good first impression; it is a combination of everything you present. How you are dressed, how you speak, how you greet, if you’ve filled out online forms correctly. Everything, every single aspect of how you look and act, contribute to all-important first impression.
Think about this form the interviewer’s perspective: they must screen literally hundreds of applicants in a day. If someone slouches up to their table and gives a weak hello and limp handshake, they don’t have the time to dig any deeper. They can’t find out that, deep down, inside this person is really a unique snowflake. They just don’t have the time to invest. One quick initial look, and if someone doesn’t fit the mold, it’s on the next one.
Remember that making a positive first impression is one of the most important aspects of interviewing successfully.
There is no one point that is more or less important that the others. You will be evaluated on everything taken together as a whole.