» How to ace the 10 minute interview : 07 Jan 2013

How to ace the 10 minute interview : 07 Jan 2013

Welcome to 2013! If you're still on holiday, here's some light summer reading for you.

It's already business as usual at HealthyPeople. In the last two days we've posted 35 new jobs for a variety of positions all over Australia. We are also perilously close to releasing a new site that will allow employers to connect with fitness graduates from RTO, TAFE and University courses all over Australia. If you'd like to be kept in the loop on this new service, click here to send an email to

There's a lot of big things happening in the health and fitness industry this year. We look forward to giving you the early mail as well as all the insight you need to ensure a flourishing fitness career.

Enjoy today's article and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We know there isn’t much time to make a positive impression during an interview.
Even worse, there is something called the 'Halo effect' that means even the rest of your interview is likely to be viewed in relation to the first impression. That is, start well and you may be forgiven any short-comings that arise later in the interview. Start poorly however, and those same short-comings are viewed as reinforcing the original opinion!

How can you make the most of the little time you have? Here are some tips:

Arrive on time.
Although no one tries to be late, it’s easy to find yourself scrambling around the morning of your interview as the meeting time draws closer.

One way to ensure you’re not late is to aim to arrive half an hour early. You’ll give yourself some leeway in case traffic is worse than expected or you get lost.

If you find you have time to spare, use it to review your résumé, check your appearance in the restroom and make sure your cell phone has been turned off before stepping into the employer’s office. Show up five to 10 minutes before the interview is scheduled to start to prove that you’re punctual.


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Bring reinforcements.
Don’t arrive to the interview empty handed. Bring extra copies of your résumé and anything else to support your application. Prepare a list of references in case the interviewer requests this information (remember, check with referees first).

You could also pack a notepad and pen to jot down key points about the job or company. These details will come in handy when crafting a thank-you note to the hiring manager and when evaluating the opportunity if you’re offered the role.

Shake hands like you mean it.
It sounds cliché, but a firm, confident handshake is important. Many employers suggest a weak handshake can be a mark against potential hires.

Not sure if your handshake passes muster? Practice with a friend ahead of time. Another tip: Smile as you shake hands. It’ll reaffirm the self-assured attitude you’re trying to convey.

Don’t skip the small talk.
One of the best ways to build immediate rapport with a potential employer is with small talk. Make a point to comment about the traffic, the weather or your weekend plans. Avoid sensitive topics and jokes. As the name implies, small talk should take up only a little of the total conversation. Look to the hiring manager for a cue that it’s time to talk business.

Assess your surroundings. Once seated in the interview room, take a moment to survey your surroundings, especially if you’re meeting in the hiring manager’s office. Photos, diplomas, mementos and other items can tell you a lot about the person on the other side of the desk. You may learn of shared interests or experiences that you can reference to establish a more lasting connection.


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Slow down.
It's understandable to be a bit nervous ? at least on the inside. As a result you may talk more quickly than normal. If this is the case, force yourself to take a breath and calm down. Give yourself a moment to compose your thoughts before responding. Then, speak clearly and at a comfortable pace. Try to maintain as natural a tone as possible. Take another breath if you start to speed up again. And don't feel compelled to fill any dead air space. Sometimes less is more. Prattling on can detract from your main message and may lead to revealing more about yourself than intended.

Watch your body language.
Body language plays a significant role in the message you convey. For example, wiggling your foot, biting your nails or frantically clicking the pen in your hand will make you seem nervous, bored or distracted ? and likely annoy the hiring manager.

Sit tall and strike a confident pose. Look the interviewer in the eye when speaking (but don't treat it like competition to see who blinks first).

Enjoy every interview as an opportunity to meet an industry leader and learn something new. If you get the job, that's great. In the very least, you'll be a better person for having gone through the process.

Enjoy the sunshine.


Dennis Hosking

This article was inspired by this one by Robert Half International

Employers downloading CVs this week
If you're not listed, you might not be found.
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