What’s the Most Important Minute of Your Job Interview?

minuteThe 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 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. And 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; and it 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 like.

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

First, 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. For example:

  • “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!”
  • “I was just at the <industry relevant> conference this weekend where I learned that….”
  • “I was just talking to <name of infuencer) the other day, and they told me <positive fact> about your company.”

These examples are not just ice-breakers, however. In this most important interview moment, you:

  • Demonstrate industry knowledge (networking)
  • Show you are engaged and not intimidated (by injecting humor)
  • Show a personal connection to the company (through a personal story)

Think about what you can do in this most important interview minute: How will your first sentence set the tone for this interview, and perhaps your career?


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Pathfinder Writing and Career Services!




Dawn Rasmussen 3About the Author: Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is the president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, where she provides results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. She is the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 meeting professionals worldwide, and Talentzoo.com, a job resource site for creative and marketing professionals. Dawn is also a recognized career expert on Careerealism.com – a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog – and a regular contributor to TalentCulture.com’s #TChat. Follow Dawn on Twitter!



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