The First 30 Seconds of your Interview – How to Impress

When I worked as a Personnel Manager in Biscuit Manufacturing, we used to watch potential interviewees walk across the car park and would play a game by making an assessment as to whether they would get offered a job – we found that we were right 80% of the time so it does beg the question why interview.

The reason we were so accurate was because research has found that we make decisions based on people like this:

This means that what you wear, the way you walk, maintain eye contact and the tone of your voice has a bigger impact that what you actually say.

So the first 30 seconds do count therefore:

  • Project Confidence – fake it if you must, maintain good eye contact, walk tall, look the part and look interested through your facial expressions and hand gestures.

  • Pitch your voice and have the right projection – slow you speech down, so many interviewees talk too fast and the interviewer switch off or can’t follow.

  • Be yourself and let your personality shine through.

  • Be Kind to the receptionist –in may cases she will be asked what she thought of you.

  • Don’t be arrogant and try to over impress – we have read your CV.

However you do still need to get through the rest of the interviews so here are some further tips:


  • Undertake some Background Reading.

  • Update your knowledge of current issues.

  • Anticipate the questions you will be asked.

  • Consider your strengths and weaknesses

  • Talk to relevant managers.

  • Consider what the panel will be looking for.


  • Answer the question, don’t waffle – Use the CAR technique.

  • If you don’t know the answer – be honest but be willing to make some suggestions.

  • Be prepared for someone to follow up your answers.

  • Pause to reflect on questions you are unsure of.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Think about the knowledge and skills that you have – how will they transfer to the job you are applying for.

  • What things do you do particular well.

  • What do you enjoy doing the most/least.

  • What traits do you have which will help you do the job.


  • Have a list of questions prepared.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask about salary, grades etc.

  • If there are going to be any difficulties when you get the job for example, hospital appointments, booked holidays, carer difficulties try to resolve these at the interview.

  • Don’t lie – you are usually found out!

Need help with writing your CV or practicing your interview skills? Contact Spalding Associates on 07807416211 or use our short contact form to send an email by clicking here.


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