Nerves typically build to a peak as you are waiting to be called in for your interview. We all know the symptoms – dry throat, clammy hands, butterflies in the stomach. You are desperate to get things going well, and desperate to avoid fluffing your opening lines.
Well, here is the simplest ever tip to ensure the first few moments of your interview begin smoothly:
As you smile and shake hands with your interviewer, instead of simply saying “Hello”, go with “Hello, how are you?“.
It is a natural greeting, polite, conversational, but also prompts the interviewer to reply to your pleasant opening. This avoids any awkward moments of silence that can seem to last an eternity. It also shows a little bit of assertiveness – you are leading the conversation right off the bat. It is a confident move that shows you are comfortable with the occasion.
Of course most people would say how they are, and then follow up with the reciprocal question to you, so make sure you have an answer! I would take this opportunity to go with something really positive, such as “Couldn’t be better!”, or “I’m great, really excited about the interview today!”. At all costs avoid a weak reply such as “I’m not too bad” or “feeling a bit nervous” – it is self-effacing but will not set the right tone!!
These are your opening moves in a 30 minute chess game – but they are good moves and show your “opponent” you know what you are doing. Try it!
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