First impressions hold a lot of weight, so it’s important to be cognizant of the manner in which you’re perceived by others. Of course, they’re not always right, but if you send the wrong vibe, you might not get another chance to let your real personality shine.
Job interviews are almost always the first time you’ll meet a hiring manager — and that’s one first impression you don’t want to go awry. If they don’t read you the right way, it will likely end your chances of getting hired.
Here’s a look at common observations people make after an initial meeting. Use this to figure out which category you fit into. If it’s not one you like, take measures to make changes for the better.
Four Ways People Can Appear During a First Impression
Displaying positive body language — such as smiling a lot, nodding while the interviewer speaks and sitting up straight — can make you appear friendly. If you complement these moves with upbeat responses to the interviewer’s questions — i.e., saying you and your current boss have different styles, instead of bashing them as someone you can’t stand — you’ll come across as someone who is easy to get along with.
On the other hand, demonstrating negative body language — such as failing to maintain eye contact, slouching and folding your arms across your chest — can cause the other person to dislike you. Pairing these gestures with negative responses to interview questions — i.e., speaking poorly about a former employer — can make you seem like an angry person.
It’s easy to go overboard when you really want to impress someone, but this can backfire. For example, in an interview, telling the hiring manager how much you really, really need the job will make you appear overeager. This can cause them to question the reason you’re so desperate to be hired, as top talent has their choice of employers.
If you’re not naturally a warm and fuzzy person — or are very shy — you might give off an unapproachable vibe to someone you’ve just met. Appearing standoffish won’t make anyone want to work with you and can send the impression you’re not that interested in the job. Be aware of this and make a concerted effort to smile and engage in friendly small talk.
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