The interview panel's first impressions of you occurs as soon as you walk through the interview room door. You may be intimidated by the number of people there waiting to grill you about your qualifications for the job. Overcoming any nervousness you have, however, is vital to portraying yourself as a confident and capable individual. Your ability to greet interviewers with confidence sets a positive tone for the rest of the interview.
Walk into the room with your body held up straight. Hold your head upright, and smile as you enter. Look around the room at the interviewers, making eye contact with each one.
Smile throughout the opening pleasantries and small talk. Relax your face muscles so that your eyebrows are not furrowed, which can make you appear upset or frustrated.
Shake hands firmly with each interviewer. Shake each one’s hand for about three or four seconds. Avoid shaking only the tips of each one’s fingers or barely gripping their hands. A firm handshake indicates that you are confident and can be trusted. Wash and dry your hands well before the interview. You do not want to have a wet, clammy handshake. Avoid rushing through the handshake, as doing so can make you appear nervous.
Treat each interviewer equally, even if one interviewer seems to be the one in charge of the meeting. You don't know how much influence each interviewer really has over the other interviewers on final decisions. You may not know if the one doing the interviewing is the one making the decision. One interviewer may try to appear sterner than another one by having a rougher demeanor and asking more difficult questions.
Maintain a confident air throughout the interview. Appear as relaxed as possible, keeping your arms uncrossed and your hands out of your pockets. Avoid looking at the floor, but instead look at each interviewer as you are introduced. Sit down only when asked to do so by one of the interviewers.
Greet each interviewer by name when he introduces himself. Continue to use his name when you answer his questions or want to ask him a specific question about the job at the end of the interview.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.