Did you know that an employer may decide whether or not to hire you 30 seconds after he first shakes your hand? Studies show that many employers make a decision about your viability as a job candidate within the first 30 seconds to 2 minutes of having met you. So what factors do they evaluate?
Here are six key elements that affect employers’ “first impression” of you. How do you rate on each of these?
1. Your likeability. Having the right qualifications for a position is important, but beyond this, employers hire people that they like. In a Wall Street Journal article, Ben Decker, Chief Executive Officer of Decker Communications, is quoted as saying “Likeability isn’t something you are born with, like charisma. It’s something you can learn.” Behaviors that will make you likeable include greeting the employer with a smile and a firm handshake (no dead fish handshake or a handshake that is a test of strength), good eye contact, and varying your tone of voice in a way that shows warmth and enthusiasm.
2. Your passion for the job and organization. Employers can find many people who are qualified and will show up for a paycheck. It is much harder to find candidates who are enthusiastic—and knowledgeable—about the job opportunity and the organization. Make sure you communicate to the employer why you are specifically interested in the particular job and in their organization.
3. How you prove your qualifications. It is not enough to just talk about how you have the skills and knowledge to do the job; you also need to provide specific examples that demonstrate your accomplishments in previous positions. Prior to the interview, practice giving examples of what you have done in the past that illustrates your qualifications for this position.
Source: Crosswalk | Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors