Master Your Interview: The First 5 Minutes, Make or Break?

We have all heard the sayings “Your impression of someone is made up in the first 10 seconds of meeting them” or “first impressions count”

Are these true?…yes!

That initial contact/conversation we have with someone triggers your brain to automatically have a thought or feeling about that person.

Below are a few simple tips I would give that require no technical ability but could open up the door to a free-flowing conversation and a much more comfortable atmosphere for both parties.

1. Prior to the interview

Make sure you find out either from the recruitment consultant or Line manager themselves what is the appropriate dress code. The last thing you want is turning up in smart casual when the company has a formal dress code.

Treat every member of staff like you would treat the line manager. You never know how close the receptionist or a random person who held the door open for you on the way into the building has with the interviewer. As we all know the Salesforce Ecosystem is a very close-knit community and everyone will have a connection in some way or another. So always show respect, be bubbly and treat people like you would want to be treated.

2. The dreaded handshake and eye contact

Do not overthink this but know that it is surprisingly more important to a lot of people than you think. A firm handshake and good eye contact shows confidence and ability to not shy away from potential awkward introductions in the future. This is essential when meeting clients and potentially your new colleagues. The Salesforce Ecosystem is a much more sociable environment than other IT environments, so the line manager will have to feel comfortable when introducing you to clients or colleagues.

3. How are you?

A simple “How are you?” allows the other person to say in most cases, “I’m good thanks, how are you?”. This is the perfect time to get your personality across to the hiring manager by potentially talking about your weekend, what you did the night before etc. This shouldn’t be forced, but allows you to open up to the manager and talk about whatever you are in to. This allows you to build rapport with the manager, and try and find out something you have in common.

4. Show your knowledge:

Do some research on both the company you are interviewing at but also the LinkedIn profile of the interviewer. This shows that you are serious about the opportunity and willing to spend your own time making sure you are prepared for the interview. You may even have an ex-colleague you have both worked with or met each other at a Salesforce Meet up in the past.

Statistics on the first 5 minutes of an interview

  • Six in ten managers say an interviewee’s dress sense has a big impact on their employability
  • 33% of bosses say they know within 90 seconds whether they will hire someone
  • It can take someone about a 1/10 of a second to form an impression of your trustworthiness – and that impression rarely changes later
  • Looking at your interviewer in the eye can help to raise their perception of your intelligence

Wrap Up

Of course, you will not get your dream job without showing technical knowledge and having the experience the company needs. However, if you follow the above, you will create a friendly, open atmosphere which can then give you a better platform to build from. You should then feel more comfortable and relaxed when answering questions from the interviewer and have more buy-in from them as the first impression was a positive one.

Pierce Mitchell– Computer Futures

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