7 Secrets to Impress Your Interviewer in the First 5 Minutes

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The journey from going through a series of job applications to finally getting the nod for an interview is no joke. Not forgetting the daunting task of meeting with your potential employers. But what is there to fear when there are ways to instantly get on an interviewer’s good side?  

Here are 7 ways to impress an interviewer in the first five minutes of your interview:

1. Arrive Early

As the saying goes, early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. When deciding on when to arrive for an interview, you should keep this in mind. Avoid being super early, as getting there over 20 minutes early could conflict with other meetings or interviews. Arriving just in the nick of time can make it seem like you’re cutting it too close and not making the interview a priority, so arriving about 10-15 minutes early sends the message that you’re invested but also considerate.

2. Bring Copies of Your CV

You may not know how many people will be in the group that interviews you. Even if all present have your CV in hand, arriving with a few copies demonstrates that you had the forethought to come prepared, which can put you ahead of the game. That being said, make sure your CV is well optimisedand void of lies or mistakes that could compromise your chances of getting the job.

3. Show Kindness

Be on your best behaviour from the moment you arrive. Maintain a friendly attitude towards any assistants or receptionists you interact with. Obviously, this is a good practice for moving through life in general, but it’s especially important when it comes to interviewing for opportunities. Thank everyone who assists you.

4. Keep Your Body language in Check

The first 5 minutes of your interview is your opportunity to overcome every anxiety. Before you open your mouth, the way you hold yourself says a lot about you. If you have to wait when you arrive, be mindful of your body language while you sit. Try not to convey nervous ticks, postures that can make you seem standoffish such as folding your arms, or staring ahead. When potential coworkers walk by, don’t be afraid to exchange a friendly nod. Most importantly, eye contact is key. People who shift their gaze back and forth can come across as being unfriendly or dishonest, while those who stare at the floor or away from the person speaking can appear less confident.

5. Build Rapport with Small Talk

While it may be tempting to demonstrate your professionalism right from the jump, lean into moments of casual conversation. Allowing yourself to be seen as a person as opposed to only an applicant can allow the interviewer to think of you in a better light. It allows you to build a connection that isn’t often established by straight business talk alone.

6. Mention Something You Have in Common

If you’ve done your homework on who your interview will be with, you’ve likely picked up some tidbits about them. Use this information to your advantage. If you know that the two of you interned at the same company, attended the same college or have volunteered at the same organization, work it into the conversation. People tend to trust others more easily when they have something in common, so calling attention to any similarity can start the interview off on a high note.

7. Be Inquisitive

At the end of most interviews, the interviewer asks the applicant if they have any questions. But you don’t have to wait for that moment to voice your opinions or show off your inquisitive mind. Instead, arrive with prepared questions at your disposal. Asking specific things that demonstrate your attention to detail and confidence shows that you’re interested, have spent time thinking about the company and are excited to learn more.

We all hate the feeling of leaving the interview room in doubt but with these tips, you are sure to leave the room full of smiles and high hopes because you nailed it.

What do the first 5 minutes of an interview mean to you? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Nelly Sadongo-Bawa
Social Media and Community Marketer at Jobberman Ghana || Blogger || Motivator || Radio host || "Knowledge is like a garden. If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested."