The Anchor Effect: How to Make a Great Impression on Your Interviewer

December 18, 2017 in Career and Job Search Tips, Interview Tips


Ever heard of the “anchor effect”?

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, here’s a quick overview of how it works:

When you meet someone new, your brain quickly latches onto assumptions that create the “anchor” for every evaluation you make about them thereafter. Why? The human brain loves patterns and predictably. So, in an attempt to make sense of a situation, the brain makes snap judgments about a person based on those patterns.

And like an anchor, those opinions are extremely hard to dislodge once they’ve taken hold.

Make the anchor effect work in your favor.

Your mission in your next food & beverage job interview? Make sure the interviewer’s snap judgements about you “drop anchor” in the right place:

Put away your phone before you enter the building.

Nothing turns a recruiter or hiring manager off more than having to compete with a mobile device for your attention. Turn your phone all the way off (a buzzing phone is as distracting as a ringing, dinging one), so you can give the interviewer your undivided attention.

Make the right kind of eye contact.

Your eyes influence people’s opinions of you more than you might think – so use them to your advantage:

  • Keep your eyes wide. Wide-open eyes make you appear more alert, and people typically perceive wide-eyed people as more intelligent.
  • Get enough sleep. In addition to making your eyelids droop, lack of sleep creates dark circles under your eyes that can make you look tired or even ill.
  • Strike the right balance. Convey your self-assurance and enthusiasm without uttering a word by making natural eye contact.

Let the interviewer take the lead.

While it’s important to demonstrate your confidence and knowledge during an interview, focus initially on developing rapport. When you introduce yourselves, let the interviewer speak first. Then, ask relevant questions to help the conversation along and show that you’re paying attention. As the interview progresses, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to speak about your experience and qualifications.

Smile correctly.

Smiling is a great way to create trust and warmth, IF you do it the right way. Avoid an overly wide, toothy grin, as it can convey naivete; opt instead for a subtle, warm smile that reaches your eyes. Unsure of how your smile comes across? Ask a family member or trusted friend for their honest appraisal.

Mirror body language.

Whether your interviewer is all business or laid back, friendly or brusque, they’ll naturally trust you more if they believe you are similar to them. Make the interviewer feel instantly at ease – and pave the way for effective communication – by subtly mirroring their body language. As you converse, slightly adjust your own orientation and posture to reflect their body language. Lean out when they lean out; cross your legs after they cross theirs. Just remember that mirroring should be understated, not obvious or mechanical.

Want more food & beverage job-search and interview advice?

Check out these related posts from Kinsa Group:

How to Ace Behavioral Based Interview Questions

Sell Your Soft Skills in an Interview

Make a Great First Impression with Your LinkedIn Profile – and Grab a Recruiter’s Attention

Then, contact a Kinsa Group recruiter. Experts in executive and c-level food & beverage recruitment, our insights can bring you one step closer to your ideal opportunity, including roles in:

• Food & Beverage Executive Management

Food & Beverage General Management

Food & Beverage Sales

Food & Beverage Marketing

Food & Beverage Operations & Plant Production Management

Food & Beverage Research & Development

• Food Science

Food & Beverage Quality Assurance 

Food Safety

Food & Beverage Human Resources

• Food & Beverage Engineering

Food & Beverage Maintenance

Food & Beverage Supply Chain and Purchasing

Warehouse Management

• Finance & Accounting