First impressions do count! How you interact and connect with your interviewer(s) can help make or break your chances of landing your dream job.
So how do you make a great first impression? Here are a few strategies to help you connect with the person on the other side of the table and get your interview off to a wonderful start:
Observe & Imitate
It’s called “mirroring.” And while you need to be your best self during an interview, you should take note of your interviewers’ mannerisms and preferences, and then match them when you respond. For instance, if they’re high energy, you need to kick it up a notch as well. If they’re more calm and serious, tone down your approach if necessary.
- Don’t override your own personality, but adjust it to facilitate the dialogue. This will make both of you feel more “at-home” with one another. Once this connection is established, conversation will flow more easily and naturally.
Ask Relevant Questions at Relevant Times
As part of your interview prep, you should make a list of questions that you can ask about the company and the specific position. You don’t have to save these for the end of your interview. Use your judgment and inject them into the conversation earlier if you can. This shows your interest early on, and helps move the dialogue along.
In a Single Word: Listen
Pay attention to the type of questions asked. For instance, if your interviewer mentions numbers and percentages, be sure to weave similar information into your responses. For example, you could say that you “increased sales by 25 percent during the last fiscal year” or “exceeded the fundraising target goal by $2,500 during the last quarter.”
- Notice and gain insight into how your interviewer best communicates. Then, use it to your advantage.
- Note the nonverbal as well as the verbal. Body language is a key part of listening. Observe the body language of your interviewer – and use nonverbal cues to your advantage. This might include leaning forward slightly when speaking, appropriate hand gestures and eye contact.
Discuss your passion for your field and your enthusiasm for the company’s product or service. Talk about personal common interests as well.
During the holiday season, topics like shopping, traveling and the hustle and bustle around both inside and outside work are natural ice breakers.
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