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The first 10 seconds matter by Emma Vites


Part of The Best Candidates Job interview tips. 

Top careers and sales coach Emma Vites gives job seekers advice when they walk into their interview.

There are so many articles written about how to be the best in a job interview and most of them centre on finding out about the company and the role and preparing yourself with the questions you believe the prospective employer will ask. Although all of this is crucial I believe there is something fundamentally missing with this approach and that is it misses the fact that you are being interviewed by a ‘person’ and there is a certain human element to interviews.

We have all heard the phrase “people make up their mind about you in the first 10 seconds of meeting you” and this is the same with employers and interviewers. This article is about how can you grab article needs
to be about how can you grab the positive attention of the interviewee in those crucialfirst 10 seconds to ensure that you have the maximum chance of securing the job.

“The first 10% of any interview will dictate the final 90%” Roger Caras

So what happens in those first 10 seconds? How do these quick opinions get formed? How do the employers decide if you are a yes or a no almost immediately? What we need to remember is that 96% of what we do, think and feel is subconscious and that creates our beliefs, opinions, values and perceptions. This means that without us really knowing it; our subconscious is forming opinions of people all the time, which allows us to make these quick judgements! As quick as 10 seconds!

We decide who is confident, smart, successful and employable before someone even opens up their mouth! This is a great hint to know when going on job interviews, because you can create an amazing impression almost immediately.

The best way to do this is to close your eyes and really think about what characteristics you would see in people that would enable you to perceive them as confident, smart, successful and employable. Use your imagination and start to visualise what would they look like?

What clothes are these confident people wearing? How are they standing? What questions do they ask? How do they speak? Can you think of any famous people who emulate confidence?

What is it about them that has caused you to formulate your positive opinion and perception of them.


Guide to being your best at job interviews.

  • Look smart & presentable. Wear smart clothes, minimal jewellery and polish your shoes.
  •  Be punctual. No more than 10 minutes early and definitely not late!
  • Stand, don’t sit in reception. It creates a ‘subconscious perception’ of confidence.
  • Build rapport on topics the person will be interested in. With the rise of social media, it is now easy to know information about the person interviewing you. Look on LinkedIn,Twitter and ‘Google’. If they have written an article, positively comment on it. This information will help you as “people like people like themselves” and “people often employ people they like”.Mirror their behaviour, ask them about their background and about themselves. I encourage you to read ‘How to win friends & influence people’ by Dale Carnegie.
  • Research lots about the company. Find out what is happening in their industry and come prepared with intelligent questions.
  • When answering questions…always use examples of when you have demonstrated certain competencies.
  • You have 2 ears and one mouth and use them in that order! Please ensure you LISTEN attentively to every question so you answer them correctly
  • Close them down for next steps and a commitment. Tell them you’re keen; find out what the next steps are and what their process is.
  • Send an email after the interview thanking them for their time.


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