Have you ever thought about what a prospective employer/recruiter can find out about you in the first 30 seconds of meeting you? They can determine if you:
Value the interviewer’s time
It is common knowledge that most hiring managers are overworked.
You might be one of them and understand that time is a very valuable asset when hiring new employees. When you (the executive job seeker) show up for an interview, it is a courtesy to your interviewer to show up 5-10 minutes early.
Being a few minutes early demonstrates that you are honoring the time allotted to you for the interview, and the interviewer’s schedule. This also helps the interviewer stay on track which they appreciate.
Are a leader or a sidekick
Approach your interview with one thing in mind – how you can be a solution to the company problems.
That’s why they want to hire you.
Of course, you want to support that focus with how productive you are, how your background and experience has prepared you for this job, and how you can handle the responsibility, and position you as the best candidate for the job.
Have gnome mentality
Before you dismiss this section, hear me out.
The interviewer is trying to get to know you in a sound bite of time, and one way is to ask a couple of very casual questions like “Did you have a hard time finding us?” and “What do you think about the weather today?”
What they can discern from your response to these questions is: if you complain about the weather or the traffic or location of the office, that you may respond to other company issues in the same manner.
So while these may seem like friendly get-to-know-you questions, be cognizant of your answers and how an interviewer might perceive them.
Hijack the interview
Do you step in the door and start pulling out your portfolio, samples of your work or other collateral materials?
While it is good to have these things in your possession, it may be wise to save them until asked, or it is appropriate to substantiate a key accomplishment you are talking about in your conversation.
Of course, you should have an extra copy of your resume in hand, and paper and pen if you want to take notes.
Remember we are talking about the first interview here.
And someone famous once said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Recruiters skim your resume in 10 seconds to get an overall view of who you are and what you can do for the company. So during the first 30 seconds of an interview, they may pretty well have you summed up.
Make that first impression count!