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The Eyes are the Windows to the Job Offer

It’s the day of your interview,                                                                                                                 your black blazer is ironed and lint brushed,                                                                                 you’ve done your reseamsirch on the company, reviewed your talking points, and your handshake is just firm enough to make a lasting first impression… or so you thought. You didn’t prepare to maintain eye contact with the Hiring Manager and, all other preparation aside, you are unable to convince them you really want the job. Ironically, the importance of eye contact in a professional setting can often be overlooked. It is important to understand what your eyes can be “saying” during an interview.

Looking Straight Up: Motioning your eyes up usually conveys that you are in the middle of a thought. This can signal that you are trying to remember words you’ve prepared or visualizing an answer after being asked a situational or behavioral question.

Looking up and to the left: specifically signifies you’re remembering, this usually occurs in an interview when you’re asked a question, trying to process it, and relating it to a past event.

Looking up and to the right: specifically signifies you’re visualizing, mainly, this occurs when you’re able to picture something that happened recently. Also, your eyes may shift this way when assessing the logic in a question you’ve been asked.

It is in your best interest to practice maintaining eye contact even when thinking through an answer. A Hiring Manager can interpret frequent looking up as a lack of focus/interest in the conversation.

Looking Down: AVOID! Looking down signifies insecurity, defeat, and/or guilt. A manager’s ultimate goal is to hire someone that they have confidence in. How can they have confidence in you if you don’t show you have confidence in yourself? Your eyes have the power to give your nerves away, don’t let them. When it comes to less looking down, practice makes perfect. Build yourself up, before an interview remind yourself that GETTING the interview means you’re qualified and now all that’s left to do is let your personality shine through.

Making Eye Contact: Looking directly into someone’s eyes lets them know you’re interested in the conversation and that you’re not distracted by your surroundings or thoughts. Hiring Managers obviously want to see your interest in the opportunity they’re giving you. Your eyes can be the foremost way to nonverbally tell them – there is no place I’d rather be than at this interview. Eye contact between both parties in the conversation signifies respect. Respect that they’ve taken the time to meet with you and consider you a fit for the company’s opening.

One of the best ways to maintain eye contact is by preparing answers to commonly asked interview questions ahead of time, and then practicing your answers in the mirror or with someone. The internet is a great tool to find the most common interview questions for certain positions and from specific companies. This way you can be prepared and focused on the pair of eyes in front of you!

You can bet the Hiring Manager will be looking at you, so if you want to send the right message make sure you’re looking back. There are many aspects to tackle during an interview, don’t let lack of eye contact be what strips you of an offer. Instead, use this information to captivate and ensure no manager can take their eyes off of you!interview-cartoon

Tori Pollock

Bryant University 2017

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Make That First Impression Last Longer Than the Blink of an Eye

From as far back as I can remember, I recall being told the importance of a first impression.  Back then, it was about being respectful to new teammates and portraying good sportsmanship to opposing teams.  As I grew older, and high school came around, it was the first impression you had on teachers and new classmates which firstwould affect how you were viewed in school.  Now, as I make my way through college at Bryant University and get ready to make it out in the business world, I find that first impressions have become immensely more important.  Whether it is new professors, networking events and career fairs or interviews, a first impression can go a long way.  The phenomenon of a first impression and the factors involved are so interesting in how they can manipulate someone’s outlook on you.  Even more intriguing is how one person’s view from a first impression of you could be entirely different from someone else’s first impression of you.  Making a good first impression on someone not only has profound benefits on your personal life, but is also beneficial in building your career.

As a student studying the field of Human Resource Management, I wanted to tailor my learning experience to tie together and help me understand HR even more.  To do so, I chose to double minor in Communications and Psychology, which I have found to be immensely beneficial in learning how people think and work   According to a 2014 study at the University of York, impressions of a person’s approachability and dominance can be made within the first 100 milliseconds.  Before you even have a chance to speak, the person you are meeting has already had the chance to analyze your posture and how you carry yourself, your facial expressions and how you are dressed at 6e842fbcd86c233bc4d17c5b27cefa99the time they are meeting you.  First impressions are quickly formed and long lasting, the longer amount of time for the first impression, the more confident and stable the impression will be.  An interviewer can have made their mind up within two seconds of seeing someone as to whether or not they want to hire them, possibly excelling their career forward or becoming another road block in the way.  What first impressions come down to can be instinctual and alter our outlook on people instantaneously and that is what makes them so important.  What is so interesting about these situations is that they are highly dependent on the various factors that could skew the accuracy of the impression.  Some factors include age, gender, physical appearance, posture, voice, number of people present, and time allowed to process.  These factors are deemed especially important within the business world especially when trying to find a job.

With a combination of learning Communications, Psychology and HR at school, I am also discovering more and more things about first impressions during my time here at MSI.  Learning the breakdown of a first impression has opened my eyes to be more aware of how I present myself in a first impression situation.  It is said that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  This is directly related to establishing the first impression on your interviewer because even before you speak they will analyze you.  Non-verbal cues such as level of eye contact and firmness of the handshake upon greeting someone will be taken into consideration as well.  Posture and tone of voice during an interview are absolutely key, they depict the level of interest one may have for the interview/job.  Understanding tone of voice is important in a first impression because it will either enhance or diminish the impression someone has made already.  In addition to these non-verbal cues, researching the firstimpression_aloneorganization and interviewer beforehand, having prepared questions and portraying confidence can all go a long way in a first impression by showing the interviewer you care about this opportunity and will go the extra mile.  These extra things can help mend a sour first impression or just add onto an already positive outlook.
Being aware of these factors that come into play is so helpful, because it allows you to be able to control them and use them in your favor.

 

First impressions will always be important and will occur constantly throughout our lives, so what kind of first impression will you make?  Being able to understand
what is in a first impression can have countless benefits whether seen or unseen.  Whether you are going into an interview or one day will be conducting interviews, it is
important to be able to decipher and analyze people’s non-verbal cues in order to get the best impression you can on them.  Knowing these factors and the importance of a first impression will get you far, because you don’t want your first impression to be the only impression you make.

Alex Madoian

Bryant 2017

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