The first five minutes of a job interview make a huge impact on how the rest of the interview will go. Believe it or not, everything you do as soon as you leave your house will influence the way you’re perceived when the interview comes.
It’s all about building up your confidence and your energy with every action you take before walking in the room. So the way you greet people you run into in the street or as you walk in the building, will make a good impression and it will make you feel great in return.
The way you carry yourself is essential if you want to nail a job interview in only 5 minutes. If you don’t know how to do that, that’s what we’ll be discussing today. These tips will allow you to prepare beforehand so when the time comes to walk into the interview, you’ll have all the tools you need to make a great impression and start on the right foot.
Here’s what you need to do to take control of the situation and make the most out of those 5 minutes!
1. The interview starts long before you arrive
We don’t usually think about this, but the job interview starts long before we even meet our interviewer. You could run into anyone on your way to the interview or in the company’s building, so what you want to do is make sure you project a confident, friendly and professional energy from the moment you leave your house.
You also want to get there early so you have enough time to get familiar with your surroundings. Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet during the interview process as well. Greet the receptionist and the people you share the elevator with, hold the door for someone, and have a genuine smile for everyone, even if they’re competition. This will leave a great impression behind!
It’s essential that you remember to put your phone on silent mode, and focus on being calm. The last thing you want to do is overthink and go in there riddled with anxiety! Trust what you’ve prepared and push all negative thoughts aside. Don’t allow stress to take over and you’ll be fine.
2. Create a memorable first impression
Speaking of impressions, you need to make sure you create a memorable one right off the bat. Remember that humans need very little to form an opinion about another person. In fact, it only takes a few seconds and we don’t even need to hear them speak.
That’s why non-verbal cues are important. So make sure you project confidence with your every move. This won’t only make you feel better, it will make a great first impression. Make eye contact, have a positive energy, be interested and enthusiastic, and above all, be honest.
If you tend to be a bit awkward or shy, then make sure you practice these non-verbal cues in advance. The last thing you want is to let your nervousness show, so ask a friend to help you out and practice the strength of your handshake, your eye contact, strategies to avoid fidgeting and releasing nervous energy, among many other things that will come in handy.
Dress for the occasion and look neat as well! Your image is important, so make sure you look like someone they want to hire. To achieve this, research the culture of the organization you’re applying for and dress accordingly.
3. Prepare for some small talk
Small talk is actually a lot more tricky than we care to admit. It can go right or really wrong, and if you’re not particularly gifted in this department, you’ll definitely want to prepare.
Think of some topics that may come up during the interview and have strategies so you can allow the conversation to run smoothly. The key here is to discuss topics of interest to both of you, so you can create that chemistry or understanding that’s so important in business relationships.
To do this, take a look at the office you’re in and try to identify personal preferences so you can strike up a short conversation about something you two might have in common. Or you could simply feign interest without coming off as sarcastic or fake. It could be something as simple as a decoration item, a poster or a picture they may have laying around.
Whatever you decide to talk about, make sure you’re comfortable, charismatic and natural. Convince yourself that you’re talking to an equal for a moment and it will be that much easier to talk to your interviewer without losing focus of what you have to do.
4. Decide on your message and stick with it
When you walk into a job interview, you want to make sure you have two or three main messages to deliver. These messages should make it clear how you’re the right candidate for the job and they’re the goal you want to achieve during the interview.
What you need to do here is decide what two or three things you want the interviewer to remember about you once the interview is done. Once you do that, include them in your pitch in a natural and effortless way.
This is why it’s so important to prepare the guidelines of what you want to say during the interview. To do this, you don’t only want to prepare answers for the most common questions, you also need to find a way to deliver your narrative in a convincing and effortless way.
That’s why having a script and practicing it to death is so important. You don’t want to wing it during a job interview because you risk leaving out important information about your skills and experience, and what makes you such a great fit for this role and the company.
Preparing talking points is one of the best things you can do to nail a job interview in 5 minutes, so make sure you do that and practice with a friend until you can’t practice no more. This will allow your speech to be more natural and it will allow you to keep the right things in mind when you’re talking to your interviewer.
Remember that by the end of it, they have to be convinced that you have what it takes, and this depends on the story you tell, the words you use, and of course your attitude.
As you can see, there are a lot of things that go into giving a great interview, but the main one is to be in control of what you want to say. Your attitude, you attire, and your energy are also super important to create a good impression and to nail a job interview in as little as five minutes.
The best thing you can do is practice, especially if you have issues in these situations, such as anxiety or stage fright, so to speak. These things stem from uncertainty and any insecurities you may have about your skills, but most of the time they’re only in your head. You must control your inner voice and you do that through habit and repetition!