Making those 90 Seconds Count

Studies show that recruiters spend a mere 90 seconds to form their first opinion of you. Yes - these are the first 90 seconds of when you meet - not the last! The fact is, job interviews are grueling and frustrating, for both parties involved. The hiring manager has the pressure to make the right and most cost effective hire, while the stress that the interviewee is experiencing is due to obvious reasons. It is therefore important to make those first 90 seconds count the most and fix the only thing that can be judged in 90 seconds - your appearance!

Judging a Book by its Cover

The fact is, the majority of recruiters have already established their initial opinion of you by the time you lock eyes and shake their hand. It goes something like this:

“Genuine smile - quite nervous - clammy handshake - probably all the nerves - now my hand is wet - too sweaty - darting eyes - wonder what’s causing that…”

And your grand 90 seconds are over.

So if you want to make the most of this precious moment, it is important - no, it is mandatory - to fix up your appearance and be your very best from the start. Here are a few pointers to help you make the most of the first 90 seconds:

Hair - Get some hairspray to get rid of the frizzy appearance, and make sure you don’t use too much product. That includes hair wax, gel and other styling products for men. A simple ponytail or conservative hairstyle is best for women, rather than an outlandish cut with braids and butterfly clips.

Smile - Practice your smile before you go for the job interview because this is where many people fail. You should smile a moderately, not a full teeth smile but more of a closed-mouth smile. Make sure your eyes reflect the emotion because recruiters can easily pick up on this.

Handshake - Again, this requires preparation and practice. Your handshake is the first physical contact you have with the recruiter so make sure that you have a firm grasp of their hand and don’t be afraid to shake it 2-3 times.

Shoes - Dirty shoes are a huge no-no. Go for the polished and prepared look by shining your shoes the night before. This will show the hiring manager that you are a presentable person who pays attention to detail. Sloppy shoes are a sign of tardiness - so stay away from those trainers!

Clothes - The clothes you wear should be cleaned and pressed - these are obvious points and surprisingly many people miss them. A professional suit and tie, along with a shirt are the expected norm, so try to stick with this to make the best impression possible.