When someone says “I’m not judging” they probably are. People make judgements all the time. And there’s no better time to assess someone than during the first meeting. Wouldn’t it be good to know what you’re judged on in an interview or when first meeting a client or on that first date.
According to a Harvard Professor there are only two things you’re judged on. In her relatively new book “Presence” Harvard business school Professor Amy Cuddy says people answer two questions when they first meet you.
- Can I trust this person?
- Can I respect this person?
This shouldn’t come as any great surprise as after all we’re all doing it. Cast your mind back to the last time you met someone for the first time and you’ll probably find you were sizing them up using the same criteria.
And in an interview situation it makes sense.
Can I trust this person?
- Will they let me down?
- Are they who they say they are?
Can I respect this person?
- If you can’t respect the person then whatever they say will be met by glazed eyes.
Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both. Trust and Respect
The tricky part is everybody judges others based on their own beliefs. The way you dress, your communication style, your views all add up into the equation can i trust this person, can i respect this person.
Your preparation for interview still counts however in light of this study out a little more emphasis on
1. mirroring the energy of the person who is interviewing you.
2. making connections quickly in the conversation. This is an easy way to establish your brand and credibility quickly in turn building trust and respect with this person.
3. don’t be afraid to give a little of yourself away with a genuine and interesting short story if relevant in the conversation.
An interview is like any other conversation, a dialogue. It’s out there, you know what you’re judged on in an interview. Don’t approach the meeting with anxiety, remain present and give yourself the best chance at being an active participant. This is your time to assess the interviewer just as it is there time to assess you. Now see who’s judging?