Hosted By

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

Join Isaiah as he talks about how the first 90 seconds can make or break an interview and how to prepare so you always give the best first impression

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah lays down some facts that should convince you of the importance of your first impression during a job interview
  • Next, Isaiah gives some advice on how to prepare ahead of time to give a good first impression every time
  • Finally, Isaiah discusses how to answer the two questions that get asked during the first 90 seconds of a job interview

From This Week’s Show… 

The Importance Of The First 90 Seconds Of A Job Interview

When it comes to executing an industry interview, a typical interview round can last anywhere from fifteen minutes for a phone screen to forty-five minutes for an individual meeting during a site visit.

However, no matter the overall length of the interview round, studies show that the interviewer decides whether or not they will recommend hiring you within the first ninety seconds.

The same studies found that 55 percent of your impact comes from the way you dress, act, and walk through the door; therefore, you should prepare to make a good first impression.

Much of this impression comes from nonverbal cues. Did you dress professionally? Did you have a firm handshake? Did you smile during the interview? Does your body language portray confidence?

How To Prepare To Always Give A Good First Impression

It’s a lot easier to manage your nonverbal cues and portray confidence when you have established a plan for some of the standard interview logistics ahead of time. Start planning for these by addressing the following questions well in advance of your next interview:

  • Where will you keep a copy of your resume so that you can easily get to it for a phone screen?
  • Where will you take calls for your phone screens so that you are not distracted?
  • What will you wear to your video or in-person interview? Does the professional attire you selected require any care to look its best (e.g., dry cleaning)?
  • Where do you plan to take your video interview? (PhD Pro Tip: Make sure it is a place that gives you good lighting and has reliable internet access.)

The Two First Questions You Will Get At A Job Interview And How To Answer Them

In general, there are only two questions that are asked within the first ninety seconds. These questions are the same for every interview type and interview round.

The first of these questions is “How are you today?” Don’t start the interview by giving a lukewarm response like “Good, thank you” or similar, and certainly don’t taint the interview from the outset by talking about how bad the weather is, how nervous you are, or any other random or negative observation.

Instead, simply say “Perfect.” Replying with “Perfect” keeps your answer clean and to the point, which will keep the conversation moving forward and eliminate the urge to ramble about whatever you did that morning on your way to the interview.

The second question you will be asked is, “Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”

The best way to answer this question is by delivering your elevator pitch, which should succinctly explain who you are, what you want, and why they should care in one minute or less.

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

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