In Fergal Quinn’s book “Crowning the Customer”, he emphasises that the first priority for him was to rate a candidate’s smile. He found through experience, that the absence of a smile, usually indicated that candidate was not suitable for roles where interpersonal skills were mandatory.
Mr. Dale Carnegie, author of the classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, devotes a whole section to this very topic and in my own experience as a sales recruiter, I have found that maybe half of all interviewees forget to smile as they don’t feel comfortable in interviews.
The simple act of smiling will develop rapport, and relax everybody in an interview setting quickly.
Call an Interviewer by their first name
Dale Carnegie states that we can all get along with people by simply calling people by their first name. Nowadays, people prefer to converse with people on a first name basis.
The Handshake with eye contact
In western civilisation, the handshake is our way of saying “you are welcome”. Although we may realise the importance of a firm handshake; the area where most people fall down is they avert their gaze as they shake hands with an interviewer. The simple act of combining eye contact with a firm handshake demonstrates confidence, self assurance and composure, the very attributes you are looking to convey.
There is a definite look
Research in this area, recommends that men should wear a dark formal suit, a white shirt and a red tie for business meetings. Indeed this is the preferred look for a major American corporation for all their sales staff. Shoes are important too, they should be high quality and black.
For ladies, generally the same rules apply. Suits should be well fitted, jewellery kept to a minimum, and makeup should be appropriate. The point here is that you get taken seriously as a candidate.
Accessories too can make a difference. The quality of pen you write with, and the folder you bring along with you, compete the overall impression you are trying to convey – that of a successful self confident person.
Therefore to create that all important first impression at an interview, become brilliant on the basics.
2. Develop a firm handshake with eye contact.
3. Refer to an interviewer by their first name.
4. Wear a high quality business suit with quality accessories.
Getting it right in these areas, sets the tone for a good interview and gives you every opportunity of landing a job offer.
Further comments on interview preparation by Mark O’Donoghue can be viewed on www.cvcoach.ie – career planning for sales people.