Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn that a personal greeting to the interviewer demonstrates your attention to detail
  • Next, show that you’ve done your homework on the company by mentioning something specific about the company culture or values
  • Finally, display authentic enthusiasm for the role and the company

We interviewed them and they came across as someone who had the personality of a wet mop. Oof – this is what a hiring manager friend told me after interviewing someone with a doctorate that I knew but never worked with. Tough remarks but the point is valid. If you’re too nervous in the interview to be yourself, or if you’re too self-conscious, or think it’s cool to act like you don’t care, it’s going to hurt you big time. This is especially true in the first 90 seconds of the interview when most employers report making their first impression decision on whether or not to hire a job candidate.

Making a strong, magnetic first impression in the first 90 seconds of an in-person interview is crucial in today’s job market. To stand out and leave a memorable impact, start by greeting each interviewer by name and express enthusiasm about meeting them individually. This personal touch demonstrates your attention to detail. Then execute a memorized and natural elevator pitch.

Craft a concise and engaging pitch that highlights your skills, experiences, and what you bring to the company. Deliver it confidently and naturally when introducing yourself. Focus on answering who you are, what you want, and why it matters to the employer.

As soon as you enter the interview room, exude self-efficacy through your body language. Maintain good posture, offer a firm handshake (if appropriate), and make eye contact with everyone in the room.

Dress appropriately for the company culture but add a unique element to your outfit that sparks conversation. This could be a stylish accessory or a subtle pop of color that sets you apart. Show that you’ve done your homework by mentioning something specific about the company culture or values in the first few moments of the interview. This demonstrates your genuine interest.

Consider bringing a visually engaging item, like a one-page infographic summarizing your achievements, that you can share with the interviewers. This is often called the “briefcase technique” referring to a time when briefcases with documents were common. People love physical interaction with the world – give them something they can put their hands on so you come alive to them mentally as tangible and thus more memorable.

Speaking of being memorable, I recommend putting together a wow story to share. Have a surprising fact or an intriguing story ready to share when appropriate. It could be related to your career journey, a unique skill, or an interesting hobby.

Make sure you’re alway enthusiastic about the position too. If you’re not excited on day zero, what are you going to be like on day 100 or 1,000 – snore. So, display authentic enthusiasm for the role and the company. Express your excitement for the opportunity to work there and your belief in the company’s mission.

And have questions read – thought provoking ones. Instead of the typical, “Tell me about the company,” ask a thought-provoking question related to a recent development in the industry or a specific challenge the company is facing. This shows that you’re already thinking about how you can contribute.

Finally, always be thankful. Express gratitude for the opportunity to interview with the company. A simple “Thank you for having me here today” goes a long way in conveying your appreciation.

Remember that a good first impression is just the beginning; you’ll still need to demonstrate your qualifications and fit for the role throughout the interview. However, these strategies can help you start the interview on a high note and make the interviewers eager to learn more about you.

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