Nervous jobseekers need to prepare for two hidden interview hurdles – the first and last three minutes.
Video footage of candidates during training exercises shows body language in the first and final moments of a job interview has the biggest impact on potential employers.
That’s according to Julia Goodman, founder of communications coaching company Personal Presentation, who has studied more than 1,000 taped interviews in her research.
“How you walk in and out can decide your future – it’s that powerful,” said Goodman.
“Simple things, like maintaining good eye contact, and having a firm handshake, really help.
“But beyond that, it is vital not to put on an act and ‘pretend’ to be confident. “If you fake it, you won’t make it. Often an interviewer will spot fakery – even subconsciously.
“If you are well prepared you should feel confident, and that will help you manage any nerves, rather than being overcome by them.”
Personal Presentation’s bespoke You Brand programme helps people to communicate more effectively.
You Brand’s unique communication methodology, alongside psychological interventions and video playback, shows people how to get ahead in the workplace.
“One of the models we use in the You Brand programme is the Mehrabian Wheel,” says Goodman.
“The psychologist Albert Mehrabian believes only seven per cent of the initial impression we make on others is down to what we say.
“The rest is down to the way words are said, facial expressions, and body language.
“It all comes down to how you make the other person feel. If the way you feel inside isn’t the same as the way you act on the outside, a potential employer may not believe or trust you.”
Goodman advises people to stay focused and energised, and be conscious of their body language.
“People are often self aware at the beginning of interviews, but start to forget themselves as the meeting goes on,” says Goodman.
“Half of my clients fluffed the mock interview in the final moments – they were so relieved it was over that they dropped their focus.
“First and last impressions, made in the three-minute windows, really do count.”
“People need to close the deal.”