What can you do in the first 15 seconds to slay the interview?
Mike Murray has additional ideas. Mike suggested “Most hiring managers want to hire someone like themselves. The first thing you can do is to look like you already work at your target company. Dress like them. Do some research and ask other employees about the company. Look at the brochures, press releases and website. How do people dress? What are the employees like?”
Mike even recommended reconnaissance - by going to the lunch place closest to your target company, and watch people who come in. Strike up a conversation if you can, or just watch, paying attention to how people talk and what they are wearing. The closest bar for happy hour may work also, or just stopping into the office at the reception area – just notice the first few employees that are in the lobby.
So after you’ve done your reconnaissance or pre-networking (think Linkedin and/or Facebook) to ask about the culture and office attire, you’re prepared to look like you’re already an employee. This goes a long way to establishing rapport, by blending in and causing the hiring manager to think “Wow, this person already looks like they work here”.
What can you do in the first 30 seconds to own the interview?
Mike then suggests “After you’ve established rapport, build upon it with mirroring. Keep your energy level comparable to the interviewer. Adopt similar posture, gestures, and tone. Even breathe at the same pace, by watching how their shoulders rise and fall, and copying their breathing pattern.”
If you really want to ace the interview, do some research on the hiring manager, to find out what they are like - See http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-good-career-changers-are.html.
Finally, eye contact is critical. Keeping eye contact when you first approach an interviewer and shake hands gives non-verbal cues of confidence and trustworthiness. Keeping eye contact when you are being asked questions gives non-verbal cues of listening skills. And finally, keeping eye contact while answering reinforces the answer, builds rapport, and reinforces trust.
But also evaluate the company’s von-verbal communications to see if you want to work for the company or hiring manager. How the company communicates to you non-verbally will help you make a good choice of companies and opportunities. You’ll want to:
- Find a problem that you are uniquely qualified to solve
- Make sure that you WANT to solve problems for this company
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