Watch: 'Do you know your resting face? It can help you get the job you want' - Gina London's top tips for best first impressions
Love your Job Series with Emmy-winning former CNN anchor Gina London - Episode 3
If you think your skills alone are enough to land you the job of your dreams, think again.
After training tens of thousands of business professionals all over the globe, I maintain that you must also confidently put forward a positive image of yourself to a prospective employer from the moment you enter the interview room.
Don’t just take it from me. Researchers at Princeton University report that people make judgements about important qualities like competence, likability and trustworthiness from another person within seconds.
Imagine that. The way you walk in the door. Your posture. Your expression. Your handshake. Each of these silent moments influence an employer’s decision. And a separate study, this one coming from Cornell University, indicates that the impact made during a first impression can last between one to six months – regardless of what you say subsequently.
Knowing then, that the first impression you make before you utter even a single word has serious impact, it is critical that you take ownership of your appearance and behaviour leading up to your interview.
But many of us are unaware of the negative signals we may be sending. I once worked with a sales executive from a large multi-national beverage company. Throughout the opening lecture part of our session, she stared at me with a scowl on her face. I imagined she was resistant or even hostile to the methodology I was sharing. Imagine my surprise then, when I asked her to participate in a presentation exercise, and she eagerly jumped at the chance. This, to me, seemed the exact opposite emotion from what I picked up in her facial expression.
During a break, I asked her what she thought her “resting” face was. She replied that she had no idea. When I described what I saw, she expressed honest dismay. She said no one had ever had the nerve to tell her before. From that moment forward, she took responsibility for her non-verbal communication. I helped her develop intentional expressions and other body language techniques to outwardly demonstrate the enthusiasm she felt inside.
That’s the good news I’m looking forward to sharing with you too. You can improve how warm and engaging you are perceived through proper training.
For this episode, I focus on your first impressions. I reveal what colours work best to wear, how you should enter the room, how you should take a seat, and yes, I even demonstrate how to give a proper hand shake. Because there is a proper way.
Your body language can instantly make you appear more – or less - attractive to that prospective employer. For instance, if you’re not vigilantly focusing, you may not realise that you picked at a cuticle for ten straight seconds or that your nod in agreement to something the interviewer said has never stopped. But I’ll bet the interview notices.
So, take three minutes and click on the video link to power up your appearance and body language. Get the job you love.
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