SINGAPORE - Most job seekers would have armed themselves with model answers to anticipated questions before they go for a job interview.
However, many would have neglected one important aspect: their facial expression.
According to a recent study conducted by Menarini, a biopharmaceutical company, a person's facial expression is a critical factor for anyone observing him or her, as it leaves the deepest impression when one person meets another for the first time.
Nearly half of the study's 500 respondents in Singapore said that facial expressions have the highest impact in terms of forming first impressions.
A whopping 82 per cent said it is possible to form an opinion about a person solely from his facial expressions.
Indeed, the expressions on a person's face are the first clue to his personality, and potential employers read those closely, according to companies that My Paper contacted.
When it comes to job candidates, what interviewers look for are a calm, focused gaze and a friendly expression.
Ms Gwen Goh, a senior image consultant at image consultancy firm Jill Lowe International, said that "a friendly expression serves as a good ice breaker at the beginning of the interview".
Ms Shirin Aziz, marketing manager at human-resource firm Adecco Personnel, said: "A friendly and open manner is always well-received. A candidate should avoid frowning or showing a disinterested face."
Examples of disinterest include yawns, sighs, blank expressions, and a set, forced smile.
Expressions "discouraged" include eye-rolling, sneering, raised eyebrows and staring, said Ms Shirin, as these would only serve to form an impression of one being overly proud or cocky.