The first few minutes of an interview are really crucial and can be a make-or-break factor. First impressions are really important and will last long after you leave the room.
Learning how to make a memorable impact in a few minutes is a powerful tool that applies to all interviews. There may be a time in your job-hunting adventures when you come across a speed interview — the interview version of speed dating — in which you have a limited time span to convince an interviewer to hire you. Or perhaps you'll bump into a manager hiring for a position at a networking event and need to sell yourself in a quick conversation. Here are some tips for a lasting impression.
1. Pick one good story that wows. If you only have a few minutes to make an impact, prepare one really memorable story that displays the qualities the hiring manager is looking for. It should be something that showcases an instance when you went above and beyond and an example that is truly unique. It could be a women's group you spearheaded at work or maybe even a pop-up restaurant you started on the side.
2. Get your posture right. Posture is really important in an interview, and people can instantly associate negative traits with you if you slouch. Stand and sit up straight, and walk confidently into a room with measured steps.
3. Master the smile. Be sure to smile to put your interviewer at ease, but be natural. Don't smile too much, or you may seem nervous. Practice in a mirror to perfect the smile.
4. Warm, dry hands. Wipe your hands before the interview, and be sure to do it without the interviewer looking. You might want to rub your hands together as well to warm them up. Make sure you have a firm grasp when you shake hands, because you definitely don't want a limp handshake.
5. Pop of color. If it's appropriate, try adding some color to your outfit to make yourself stand out among the drab grays and blacks. Your whole outfit doesn't have to be bright red, but you can choose statement earrings or a cute scarf to stand out.