SMILE is an anagram I’ve developed to help you perform better on first time encounters. If you remember this titbit of information, you should find that your performance within interviews increases, and you’re more approachable in the workplace.
S – Smile
A bit cheap that the first letter is also the anagram, however it could be argued this word to be the most important. There are many reasons to smile, any search engine will tell you it improves your health and makes you more attractive. Smiling in a first encounter situation proves you to be approachable, ‘kind’ and warm. Nobody wants to meet a miserable, dry, cold interviewee or employee, their immediate impression on the interviewer would be negative and there’s a high possibility both parties would experience a poor interview or induction.
M – Maintain
Maintain that Smile! We’re not talking holding a Cheshire grin for the next five hours, but maintain the cheery warm face. To have your pearly whites on display at handshake and then your mundane Monday morning face two minutes later is no good – nobody wants to work with the guy that has mood swings. Maintain the positivity!
I – Interact
Interaction is important; you need to engage with your interviewer or trainer like a cog in a Rolex. Be helpful, polite and forward thinking. Ask serious, well thought of questions. Ask how they are and what they’ve been up to – everyone likes talking about themselves. It’s hard work interaction, particularly if the person you’re trying to interact with has just found out that Steve from Marketing made a spelling mistake in this month’s edition. Persevere though, a flowing conversation is a good conversation, not a forced one.
L – Look
Look has two aspects. The first, more obvious one is to look good; dress for the occasion. If you’re going for a job in a record store, then get the skinny jeans and leather jacket out. If it’s Goldman Sachs you’re about to meet, take a trip down Saville Row. Dress for your audience – if you’re not sure, call ahead and ask the person that answers what people generally wear, you’ll be amazed how many people do that.
The other look is to be observational. As they take you through the office to the interview or training room, ask questions: “I noticed there’s a TV screen above every bank of computers, why is that?” “Did I just see loads of ties that have been cut in half on a notice board?” People like observant characters; it says a lot about you and helps the conversation.
E – Express
It’s important to come across ‘right’ in your interview, so express yourself in the way you wish to be perceived. If you want to be the miserable, scruffy, boring so and so, do it. But you’re not going to get the job. Be expressive about your passions for the position and your hobbies. Express your beliefs and feelings, you’ll get an interesting discussion out of it rather than the normal “weathers good isn’t it”.
Remember: Smile, Maintain, Interact, Look, Express. It’ll make an impression on your interviewer and your first day at work easier.
Try it and let us know what you think about the S.M.I.L.E. technique in the comments below!