I came across a great article on the MarketingHire.com website talking about how to seal a sales call in seven seconds. Interestingly, it has similar applications to those seeking jobs as well. http://www.marketinghire.com/job-interviews/how-to-make-a-great-first-impression-on-job-interviews.html It’s not a long article and the detail is more valuable than my following summary. In it, Lydia Ramsey lists 10 things that influence a client’s first impressions of a salesperson’s visit:
• 93% of a first opinion is non-verbal: appearance and body language. You need to dress the part for the job for which you are applying and you need to exude confidence.
• Choose your first 12 words carefully as research shows only 7% of what people may think of you come from your verbal engagement. Express some sort of thank you when meeting the interviewer such as “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.”
• Use the interviewer’s name immediately such as “Good Morning Mr. Phelps.”
• Pay attention to your hair as a much-needed haircut implies being unkempt or unprofessional.
• Keep your shoes looking at their best or the interviewer may think you will not pay attention to other details.
• Walking fast is viewed as important and energetic. I’ve walked behind workers who are just sauntering along and lead me to believe they are just killing time.
• Fine tune your handshake. Yes! I’ll tell anyone who will listen that a firm handshake and looking a person in the eyes implies confidence.
• Making introductions according to the business hierarchy does make a difference. You want to honor the senior or highest-ranking person by saying his name first.
• Always having your business card translates to always have your resume and other supporting materials with you when you meet your interviewer.
• Finally, match your body language to your verbal message by having a pleasant expression, paying attention, and leaning in toward the interviewer will make you appear more engaged.

Of course there’s a lot more to an interview than just these tips. But using these suggestions may clinch the interview as so much business is conducted with personal connections, not just the bolts-and-nuts of a job requirement.

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