The Most Important Interview Minute

 In Interviewing Strategies

The most important interview minute?

It could be the final closing and asking for the job… that’s absolutely critical.


Or is it the first minute once the interview starts?


The most important interview minute is BEFORE it starts.

This moment in time occurs when you are being transferred from the waiting area into the interview room… you have about a minute before things settle down and start to get serious.

This is your window of opportunity….It’s what you do when you walk in and make a beeline for the chair where you will be sitting.

How you handle this short space of time can completely shape the outcome of your interview.

It can affect how you feel about yourself during the interview.

It can impact how you connect with the interviewers.

It can color the atmosphere of the entire conversation.

This moment represents a HUGE opportunity for you to add a little personality, get the conversation going, break the ice, and take the stress out of the atmosphere.

It also can mean this is the moment that the interviewers begin to like you.

And interviewers like to hire people that they, in turn, like.

So what do you say in this most important interview minute?

It depends. You have to be able to read people and the situation well.

Think about icebreakers you can insert that can help warm up the conversation that is yet to come. It can change people’s perceptions of you, and also put you more at ease.

“I have to tell you, I am so excited to be here. I’ve been a big fan of (ABC Company) ever since….”

“Is this the ‘hot seat’ for the interview? Great. Hope it’s all warmed up!”

“You know, I was just at a conference this weekend where I learned that….”

“The other day, when I was out for a run…”

“I was just talking to (name of person) the other day, and they told me ….. about your company.”

In this most important interview moment, you can combat age discrimination (showing progressive learning and exercise), industry connectedness (networking), being engaged and not intimidated (humor), or show a personal connection to the company (personal story).

Think about what you can do in this most important interview minute.

Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.

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