Say “Cheese!”

The interviewing process can be very intimidating indeed. Workforce Solutionsroutinely offers live Webinarsand Online Learning opportunities to prepare you to face the challenges of interviewing. And when it comes to the finishing touches of interviewing and first impressions, your best asset is your natural smile. That’s right! Say “Cheese!” and show the employer those pearly whites.

First Impressions “Two seconds – 30 seconds, tops – that’s all the time it takes some to assess your confidence, competence, status, likeability, warmth, and trustworthiness. That’s how much time you have to make a first impression.” – Dr. Carol Kinsey Groman  

When working with customers one-on-one, many feel that while they’ve nailed the interview, they also sense that somehow, they’ve come up short. Approximately 50-80% of the time, I have agreed with their original assessment based on information relayed back to me – they no doubt nailed the actual interview. They know how to respond appropriately to Common Interview Questions, have a definite command of Dressing for Success, and a tight grasp of Interviewing Etiquette. However, when I conduct mock interviews, many forget to smile.

For two years, I focused on individuals that requested virtual assistance from our Regional Team, paying attention to jobseekers that didn’t smile as much. I asked each of them to smile more when interviewing. A total of eight out of ten individuals followed up with me within that two-year period. The results and comments were similar from each job seeker. When smiling became obvious (particularly in a virtual setting since the onset of the pandemic), the results were extremely positive!

Which positive results were evident? What was different from their last interviews? Job seekers expressed that smiling made them feel much more confident. After the interview, job seekers reported second interview requests and extended interview timeframes. This ultimately increased their chances of getting the job offer. 

On July 5, 2022, a LinkedIn Poll also found that professionals and job seekers voted 100% that smiling is necessary to the interviewing process and achieving positive results!

Always remember that when you smile less, the employer may assume you are bored, or worse yet, the employer may believe you are not interested!

Here are three quick tips to help you remember to smile:

TIP #1

Practice smiling in front of a mirror. Face forward and look directly into the mirror, then smile! Do you like what you see? Does your smile convey professionalism? If you don’t like what you see, keep practicing until you do, and have fun! Smiling head-on seems to suggest supreme confidence and that full attention is being given to the conversation. It is also more natural to the way you would be in person and in the same room with the employer.

TIP #2

Once you’re pleased with what you see, turn your head to the right, smile, and ask yourself the same questions in TIP #1. Now turn your head to the left and follow the same steps. This angle seems to suggest a professional yet slightly more shy approach. This approach is perfect if you don’t want to be as bold and would prefer to ease into a smile with a more cautious approach. Remember, you’re the judge of your own comfort zone and how much of your smile you want to share. So have fun with it!

And TIP #3

Once you’ve had time to practice in the mirror, practice on an online communication platform of your choosing. Whether it’s Zoom or Teams, it doesn’t matter nearly as much as spending time practicing and using one of your most valuable skills… smiling!

Never underestimate the value of a simple smile. Say “Cheese!” and smile 😊.

Frieda Carmouche is a member of the Regional Facilitator Team specializing in training and development of students, job seekers, and career center staff. She is comfortable with individual coaching and large group presentations. Frieda is honored to have served and was chosen as the team’s first “Mentoring Coach.” She obtained her BFA in Graphic Communications and minored in Psychology from The University of Houston Central Campus. A native Houstonian with a passion for workforce development; she is extremely proud of her rewarding 20+ year career with Workforce Solutions.

Author: Blogforce

Workforce Solutions provides comprehensive human resource services for businesses and residents of the 13-county Houston-Galveston Gulf Coast region. Workforce Solutions helps employers solve workforce-related business problems and area residents build careers, so that both can better compete in the changing worldwide economy. Our Employer Service Division provides personalized service to help employers find qualified applicants for their jobs, build the skills and expertise of their new and current employees, and address human resource needs. We operate multiple community-based career offices in 13 Texas Gulf Coast counties to help residents get a job, keep a job or get a better job – offering placement, career counseling and financial aid services. We partner with the region’s businesses, educational institutions, civic organizations and community leaders to find solutions to current and future labor needs of industries that are vital to the region and its economy.

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