Or rather this is your last chance to make a first impression. So when you turn up to a meeting be prepared, and realise that in many businesses the interviewee is not the only person who will be making a judgement about you.

So make sure that you treat the receptionist well, however much pressure you are feeling under. Have a couple of bits of polite conversation ready. “Isn’t it hot again today?” “When is this weather ever going to end?” “Did you see the football?” “Thank you for the directions, it was very easy to find”.

It really doesn’t matter, it is about engaging with people. And I know some of you find it hard, but we all feel more at ease with people who talk easily to us, who treat us as equals, who value a conversation with us.

And when you meet the interviewer? A firm handshake (not a bonecrusher, I can promise you people will avoid ever shaking hands with you again, ask your friends honestly if you think you might grip people’s hands to firmly) look them straight in the eye, “nice to meet you” “thank you for inviting me” or however else you want to confidently announce your presence.

In case you do not think this part is important, recognise that the interview is an inter-reaction between people. All of the statistics will tell you that 80% of decisions are made within the first 10 seconds, and within about 3 seconds people’s minds are fairly well made up. Get the first bit wrong and it is really difficult to recover. Get it right and it is more difficult to mess up.

Unfair perhaps? But inescapable.

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