5 Ways to Win an Interview in 3 Minutes

The hiring manager interviewed the doctor, then told his coworker, “I thought she’d never shut up” when answering his questions.

Fair or not, the American Psychological Association says we form a first impression of others based on hard-wired instincts in just six seconds.

Sure, it seems a lot more fair to judge based on education or experience. But all things being mostly equal, people hire those they know, like and trust.

And as the Affordable Care Act has prompted healthcare organizations to emphasize the importance of good relationships with patients, good communication is a more desirable trait than ever before.

So how can you win your interviewer over faster?

1. Get feedback on how you come across today.

Every day, people judge you by how you look, sound and sound like as well as what you say. This breaks down to:

  1. Visual ~ 55%
  2. Vocal ~ 38%
  3. Verbal ~ 7%

Where can you practice and get immediate feedback on how you come across?

Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit organization, hosts local club meetings and one of the activities is called table topics. Go to a meeting and you’ll have up to two-and-a-half minutes to answer impromptu questions.

Then you’ll get feedback on what an evaluator liked and what you could have done to have made your answer even better. This includes nonverbal body language, vocal tone and variety, as well as what you say.

This helps because you should try to answer every interview question in less than three minutes. If the interviewer wants to know more, they’ll ask.

2. Prepare positive messages.

Grumpy cat may be cute , but who wants to work with him?!

So do your homework and be ready to answer the most frequent questions:

  1. What do you know about us?
  2. Why do you want this job?
  3. How can you help us?
  4. Do you think you would fit in here?
  5. Why should we hire you?

If you are enthused about the opportunity, your interviewer will hear that in your voice on a phone interview. And if it’s in person, it will show in your voice and eye contact.
And if you’re not, it won’t.

3. When it’s time for your interview, relax. Deep breath.

Your interviewer won’t remember everything you said, but will remember how you made them feel.

Be on time, knowing that this will just be another conversation.

4. Establish common ground.

Maybe you discover on LinkedIn or Twitter, or from your recruiter that you and your interviewer went to the same school or both enjoy scuba diving. Share this and then ask an open-ended question, one that begins with one of the following:

    • Who
    • What
    • When
    • Where
    • Why
    • How

5. Listen more than you talk.

Given time, you would most likely establish rapport naturally. But in an interview, you have to speed up this process. Listen and learn about your interviewer so you can pick up cues.
Fair or not, people form impressions in just six seconds. So it just makes sense to learn how to communicate more effectively in a short amount of time.