First few moments of an interview

The first ten seconds of an interview are crucial as they have an impact on the final decision. That means even before answering the first question your result after that particular interview may be decided. In technical HR terms these are called ‘The Moments of Truth’. The first ten seconds are enough to gauge the candidate’s attitude and emotional traits.

So here’s a list of pointers that can help you set the first impression:

The candidate’s dressing is the gateway to his personality. It implies whether s/he is a neat, meticulous person and some one who has taken the effort to be presentable. Dressing also requires a lot of ground work about the company. For example, if the company is conservative in a suit or a sari will be a good idea. But if it is an informal dressing that the company supports (like many media firms) then dressing accordingly will be advisable. One should also not be completely uncomfortable in his dressing because this can easily be seen by the interviewer. Women should chose to wear minimum make up and accessories and go for lighter color clothing as it looks more dignified and professional.

The handshake speaks a lot. It is the only physical indicator of warmth and also builds a foundation. The grip of the handshake should neither be too tight that it crushes the other person’s hand, nor should it be too cold and disinterested. It should be just perfect and discreet.

Your body language includes eye contact, smile and your posture. A warm smile can capture even the most disinterested person’s heart. A good eye contact shows with in one self and respect to another person.

Finally a good posture shows strength and confidence. M.O Financial Services Ltd, believes that these moments of truth decide how smooth the rest of the interview will be. The initial vibrations from the candidate helps interviewer to form an opinion. If he is accepted earlier on, then more details are delved into during the course of the interview. So how much really depends on these ten seconds in terms of the final decision? Frankly it is very rare thing that if rejected in the first ten seconds then the person is selected. Mostly the opinion formed earlier on in the interview stays till the end.

However, it’s important to understand that a lot depends on the position the candidate has applied. For example if it is a sales job, pleasant personality, enthusiasm and confidence are an absolutely essential. On the contrary or back office job, qualifications experience and sincerity may be more important.

One may think it unfair to be judged in those initial moments when the candidate is trying to settle in. But it is nothing to worry about and the interviewer should be perceived as a sadistic person out to get you.

In spite of the importance of the first few seconds try to give a benefit of doubt to the person being interviewed. Then try to build a rapport and receive him warmly. Then wait for him to get comfortable and always start of with lighter questions. Those few seconds are a part and parcel of the entire interview package; they should be dealt with in a relaxed way.

What is that the applicant should do to ensure a safe beginning? The safest thing to do is to be your self. Don’t put on a false act because it can easily be caught by the interviewer. Don’t wear anything that you cannot carry off.

Remember, the moments of truth are nothing to be afraid of, it’s a chance to prove your worth and confidence. Go for them.

  • G Venkata Ramana Rao

    Very informative and Very interesting reading.