As Managing Editor of Business Insider, one of my jobs is to hire all editorial employees. We’re a growing site, so that means I interview lots of people.The most uncomfortable part of any interview is always the introduction.
This is when the candidate is sitting on the couch in reception, I come out to say hello, and we walk to the office where we’ll have the interview.
The whole process lasts less than 3 minutes. But it’s a crucial moment that you don’t want to screw up.
It’s when I formulate my first impression of the candidate.
Here is what’s involved in the introduction that makes it absolutely essential:
- Handshake: This needs to be strong. A too-tight handshake is so much better than a limp one. It suggests confidence.
- Appearance: This is the first time the interviewer will see you in person. Take your coat off and hang it up. Gather your papers neatly. Sit up straight. Look alive. Don’t play Words With Friends. Lose the gum.
- Energy: Your initial “Hello” is when you establish your energy level. Show the interviewer that you’re excited to be there by speaking with volume and eagerness. Smile. Refer to the interviewer by name (“Hi Scott, it’s so nice to finally meet you”). Introduce yourself with your first AND last name.
- Smalltalk: The walk to the office can seem never-ending if it’s silent. Establish yourself by initiating a casual conversation. Try not to resort to weather talk if you can avoid it. Point out something you’ve read recently about the company (if positive), ask a question about the office logistics, comment on something interesting as you pass it in the hall.
If your introduction is solid, by the time you sit down for the actual interview, the interviewer will already have a positive impression of you.
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