Most job seekers envision meeting the interviewer as meeting a demi-god. A lot of literature will tell you so much, but the key to success is that the interviewer must like you!
He should find you comfortable to be with, and you should meet thee the job basic requirement while also feeding his ego.
And how do you really accomplish that? It’s just by creating a great first impression.
Ultimate Guide on behaving when meeting the interviewer for the first time
- Walk smartly and steadily on entering the room with calm demeanor and with your head straight up.
- Make sure you initially knock on the door and got a reply before opening the door.
- Greet the interviewer with a steady eye contact and a relaxed smile. Look into the interviewer’s eyes as you greet and not at the floor or elsewhere, this shows that you are bold and confident.
- Be ready to shake hands, but the let the interviewer take the lead. If the interviewer does not extend a hand, please do not initiate the handshake. It may be seen as a sign of insubordination, and that is not a good impression to leave with a potential boss.
If in the case where you initiated the handshake with the interviewer, do not pull back, as you will appear indecisive instead make the best of it and smile with confidence while still maintaining eye contact, before with withdrawing your hand slowly.
The handshake signals friendliness and cooperation, try to match the pressure of the interviewer and do not grip strongly or crush his hands.
Use only one hand and shake vertically, tilt your hand a little, smile and lean forward very slightly, this conveys submissiveness.
Do not tap the interviewer’s hands after the handshake.
- Do not sit until you are offered one or asked to do so. It is very polite to wait until you are offered a seat by the interviewer.
If you feel uncomfortable standing, you may push the interviewer to take the initiative by asking
“Where would you like me to sit” or “would you like me to sit”
You must have noticed at least a vacant seat opposite the interviewer before asking this question, if there are not seat around, just keep quiet and remain standing.
- There is only one way to sit during an interview, your back to the chair and straight up. Keep your hands on the arms of the chair, if the chair is armless, keep your hands on your laps or on your pad or paper. Keep away from the table.
Do not cross your leg if you are a male, do not cross your arm against your chest, which is a defensive position. Do not also cross your ankle, it may be assumed that you are withholding information.
Be bold and confident and let it be evident in your seating posture.
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- Keep your head up and maintain eye contact at good timing and intervals, especially when the interviewer starts to speak or when you give a reply.
- Avoid folding your hands, smile at intervals especially when the opportunity arrives. Remember to show one or both of your palms up occasionally as you make points or give answers, but do not overuse this gesture.
The more open your body movement, the more you will be perceived as open and straightforward yourself.
- Do not take in any edibles like snacks as this is not good in all ramifications. If you are to eat anything, take it before the interview even begins, far before you get to the venue.
Do not also chew gum as it will send a message on seriousness on your part and instantly disqualify you even before you begin the interview.
Don’t have any sweet in your mouth to avoid the mistake of making slurpy sounds when you swallow the saliva, this may be an irritant to the interviewer.
- Remember to avert your gaze from time to time so as to avoid the impression that you are staring. When you do stare, look confidently and calmly, you can shift gaze to the right and left at intervals too.
This helps to take the pressure off you for a while and helps you relax too as the interview progresses.
- Maintain an alert disposition, keeping your head up and your eyes facing front at all times. This makes you appear smart and good to go.
Job interview body language
This requires that you open the door professionally.
Do not bang the door behind you as you walk in and do not have your back to the interviewer while shutting the door, this shows that you are not conscious of your safety.
When walking into the interview room, never walk in too fast, it may appear that you are under immense and heavy pressure and walking too slow shows that you are anxious and scared.
Do not be the first to extend a hand for a handshake, especially if you are coming in for an entry level position.
Ensure that your handshake is firm and friendly, weak handshake are not encouraged.
Do not take a sit until you are offered on or you may request “please can I have a sit”.
You sitting posture is important, do not rest on your seat, it is called slouching, it portrays nonchalance, laziness and arrogance.
SMILE AND MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
Learn to smile during the interview. Maintain good eye contact but do not stare down the interviewer by fixing your eyes sternly on him or her.
Always look away at intervals but do not appear intimidated.
MATCHING | MIRRORING
You have to mirror the interviewer behavior at some point as this will increase your likability, it plays on human psychology.
You generally try to copy some of his gestures especially those he makes with his hands, but do not overdo it and do not appear artificial.
YOUR HANDS AND LEGS
Do not ever place your hands on the table, it is an arrogant behavior. Do not cross your legs or hands, that is defensive and secretive, you have to appear open.
Place your hands on your laps comfortably or on the chairs harm if there is any.
There is really no textbook way to behave and comport yourself in front of the interviewer, but this will serve as a guideline and template to those who are interested in learning more.
The most important and ideal aspect is that you be yourself in front of the interviewer because most times, you may not be able to keep up with the pretense and that can become deadly too.
BE YOURSELF AND STAY CALM
Tell us about your experience when you met your interviewer for the first time