The Defining 10 Minutes Of Any Interview

“The interview was brilliant. I was able to answer all their queries perfectly and my profile was a perfect fit for their requirement and yet I was not selected for the role. I can’t understand what went wrong” — How many times have you said this without being able to find the answer?

Many believe that the key to cracking the interview lies in giving the right answers. But this is not so. The success depends on how you handle the first 10 minutes of your interview.


Research says the first 10 minutes of an interview are most critical and decide whether you get the job. This is the time when an interviewer makes a perception of you. He does not do it on purpose, rather it happens sub consciously. The moment you enter, the perception building process starts. If you are dressed too shabbily, or overdressed, if you do not make an eye contact, if you do not smile and greet, it hits the interviewer. So, if your first impression created a negative perception on the interviewer, chances are you won’t be getting that job. The interviewer would try to find reasons not to hire you during the course of the interview. It will not be easy to change his mind afterwards, even after a great technical round. On the other hand, if you create a good perception in his mind, he would forgive the occasional lapses during the interview. He would want to recruit you. To make those 10 minutes count so prepare your introduction thoroughly.

Projecting confidence and enthusiasm is key, so keep the following advice in mind:

  1. Executive Presence

For better or worse, a good part of the impression an interviewer first forms of you

depends on how you’re dressed and carry yourself. So, wear a nice suit or business-appropriate dress, even if you know the office to be a casual environment.

  1. Remain calm.

One of the best ways to make a good first impression is to quell any pre-interview

jitters. Plan to arrive at the interview destination 10–15 minutes early. This will give

you time to compose yourself and relax a little

3. Focus on the little things.

The fact that employers form opinions of candidates so quickly places additional

importance on the subtler points of the interview, such as giving a firm

handshake, maintaining eye contact and practicing good posture. Your nonverbal

cues can say a lot about your personality and interest in the position.

  1. Demonstrate your knowledge.

Hiring managers often start interviews by asking job candidates some

straightforward questions about their experience, knowledge of the company and

ability to excel in the position. For example, “Can you tell me a little about yourself?”

“What do you know about our firm?” and “Why do you want to work here?” are three

common questions. Research the business beforehand so that when answering these

types of queries, you can relate your responses to the firm’s needs or priorities.

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