First impressions are really important. We all know that.
Researches suggest that the opening minutes of an interview can make or break your chances at landing the job.
A famous set of studies established that the success of an employment interview hinges on what transpires in the first few minutes of the encounter, if both parties somehow establish some important common ground early on by noting, for example, that they share a hometown, an alma mater, or a common acquaintance, the chances that the interview will go well go up exponentially.
The reason this happens is because we are hardwired to use "like me" indicators when forming an opinion of a newcomer. The more similarities, the more we like them. This natural tendency is difficult to overcome, even in an interview setting when companies are looking for diversity.
Without common ground, it's harder to relate to people, and creating a relationship is just as important in an interview as displaying your skills and expertise.
On an interview, you’re there to transmit all the great things about who you are, but you're also there to establish a relationship with the person with whom you’re talking to.
To nail those first few minutes of an interview, remember to be approachable, warm, and friendly in order to build a relationship. And if you have a commonality with your interviewer, play that card early on.