First impressions are so important when meeting someone for the first time… so, how do you introduce yourself at a job interview to make sure your potential boss is impressed?
Let’s start with 3 of the biggest mistakes people make:
- Lack of eye contact
- Shaking hands like a ‘wet fish’
- Speaking too soft, too fast or too loud
Here’s the best way to introduce yourself at a job interview:
- Make good eye contact
- Introduce yourself with a clear calm tone of voice
- Meet the handshake in the webbing of your hand
- Grip the other person’s hand – not too soft but of course you don’t want to crush it either
- Shake their hand for 3 shakes or 3 seconds
Sometimes, even your best attempt can go wrong. If that happens here is a quick way to rectify the situation.
Let’s say you go in for the handshake and accidentally grip the tip of someone’s hand. Don’t be scared to say “Ohh that was awkward! Can we try again?” You can make light of it and that will help build rapport and show you are confident.
Here’s a funny little graphic to illustrate everything we have discussed so far.
One thing you don’t want to mess up with is your eye contact. Since you lead with your eyes before the handshake there is no going back on this one for a second try.
Here’s how to get your eye contact right to make a great first impression:
- Focus on one eye. If it helps, try moving back and forth between the two eyes. So your eyes don’t dart around keep focused on one of the other person’s eyes for 10 seconds or so, then switch to the other.
- If you are shy then you can find a nearby spot to fix your gaze. Looking at the bridge of the nose or just below the eyes will give the illusion of eye contact and the other person won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Break eye contact every 5 seconds or so. Don’t look down as this might indicate you are not interested or distracted. Instead, look up or to the side as if you are remembering something or when you’re laughing or nodding.
After you get your voice, handshake and eye contact right then you can focus on answering the interview questions.