For Job Seekers: The Five Second Rule
by Andrea Zuretti, Recruitment Coordinator
We’ve all faced difficult choices in life- possibly none as difficult as the dilemma of the “Five Second Rule.” To eat something that has fallen on the ground or to make the tough choice to toss it in the trash. But until today, you probably thought that the “Five Second Rule” only applied to filthy food. Well, the “Five Second Rule” is also a good measuring stick for a first impression- especially when it comes to a job interview. You really only have a few moments to make a positive impact or, like lint-covered food picked up from the floor, you could get tossed in the trash. Well, maybe not tossed in yourself- but your resume and application certainly could.
Here are a few tips to make a positive first impression in a job interview within the first few seconds:
1) Mind your P’s and Q’s in the lobby while waiting for the interviewer. Refrain from putting your feet up, lounging back on the couch, and taking a quick snooze before your meeting. Don’t laugh, because it’s happened- just like everything else I will mention.
2) Make sure your attire is appropriate for the job for which you are interviewing. If you haven’t worn a suit in years and you plan on digging your old one out of the closet, please make sure it still fits (no high-waters!) and that it is clean and pressed. If you can’t present well with your attire for an interview, we will think that you might not be able to in front of clients or customers either.
3) Be on time! If you are five minutes late for the interview, we will think that you will be 5 minutes (or more) late for work every day.
4) If someone walks by while you’re waiting, don’t avoid eye contact and play on your iPhone. Say “Hello.” You never know who that person could be.
5) When the Interviewer comes to greet you in the lobby, be confident with your introduction of yourself. First and last name always! No limp handshakes and please, no sweaty palms if possible.
6) There will always be small talk when heading to the interview room- How’s the traffic coming in? How’s the weather outside? Be polite and try to relate to the interviewer in some way by engaging in conversation. No one wants to work with a boring person who never smiles!
7) Once you’ve finally made it to the interview room, make sure you have enough resumes and information for everyone involved in the interview process. Please make sure the resume is not pink and it should never be scented.
8) Organize everything ahead of time. I have seen portfolios and brief cases that look like a bomb went off inside. I will assume that your work space will look the same.
9) You will usually be offered some sort of beverage to make you feel more comfortable. Tea, coffee, water etc… If you are not interested, respectfully decline. If you do take the drink, please refrain from slurping and gulping throughout the interview.
10) Take a deep breath, and get ready to continue building on the positive impression you’ve begun to create in these first few seconds!
So, I know it’s a lot to remember and it all sounds like minute details but it really will help to build your brand even before you begin the interview! Please be super conscious of the decisions that you make, be prepared, and be confident. Remember that you only have a very short time to showcase what you could bring to that company and every second matters! No one wants to be thrown out like a bit of food that overstayed its welcome on the floor.