Seven Seconds to Anywhere
Seven Seconds to Anywhere
Written by Eric Plaut
When John Densmore first joined the Doors (then called Rick & the Ravens) in 1965, he was handed a sheet of lyrics by the band’s keyboardist Ray Manzarek. As John read through the lyrics, he immediately felt that he connected to them. It instantly made impression on him. John knew at once that he was the Ravens’ drummer. No one else—according to Densmore—would be pounding the skins to this song. Not Dennis Wilson from the Beach Boys, Ginger Baker of Cream or even the Beatles’ Ringo Starr would be doing the honors.
The song Ray Manzarek handed John was Break on Through. Its writer would eventually become known as the lead singer of the Doors—Jim Morrison. Break on Through introduced the rock ‘n roll world to the Doors and their self-titled debut album on January 4, 1967. John’s riffs, as well as pounding the drums with a brush, led off Break on Through. He used jazz and Latin drum beats to lead off other Doors’ songs including: Hello, I Love You; Five to One; and its biggest hit from their guitarist Robby Krieger, Light My Fire. In an interview, John described Five to One’s drumming as “sheer simplicity”.
As the old saying goes, little things like first impressions do mean a lot. This next statement may surprise you. It usually takes an average of seven seconds to make a first impression, especially when one is looking for a job. It is shocking to find this information out! A person can spend several hours researching a potential employer, learning the directions to drive over to the company or wearing the right attire. But it’s that one small matter that can make or break you. It takes less than ten seconds to present oneself to the person who may or may not hold the key to your future.
Seven seconds to make that first impression? That could be frightening to anyone. To put in all that hard work with research, e-mails, phone calls and getting all spiffed up only to blow that first impression. Seven seconds is not a lot of time, yet it could make or break the interview. That’s a bit faster than the 10-second countdown to send a rocket blasting off into space or an Olympian running the 100-meter dash. (According to Wikipedia, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt holds the record at 9.63 seconds from 2012 in London while Jim Hines broke the 10-second barrier at the 1968 games in Mexico City. For women, the late Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith-Joyner broke the record at 10.62 seconds at the 1988 games in Seoul.)
People tend to have short attention spans these days. I’ve wondered if it has to do with the advancement of technology, the status of the economy or the idea of “looking out for number one” (themselves).Maybe it’s a combination of the three or even something else out there. Although we tend to be continuously bombarded with outside “clutter”, somehow we know when opportunity comes knocking. It could be that once-in-a-lifetime chance we were looking for. We don’t need seven or ten seconds to say “YES!!!”
So how can we then try to make our first impression go well? Well, when it comes to looking for potential employment, one should go behind the scenes first. As mentioned earlier, he or she needs to research the company (its history, products and even one’s possible co-workers and supervisors). Also, does one know someone who works there and/or can drop off your resume at the hiring manager’s desk? Networking can make all the difference. It beats having your resume stuck in a pile that never gets read!
And as the old saying goes: “Practice makes perfect.” Try and enlist a willing person—Mom, Dad, your significant other or a best friend—to practice your interview questions with. Following your research on the potential employer, write up questions you have for the company. Just remember that the answers will most likely differ between the practice round and the actual session!
Just remember that a job interview is a two-way process! It’s important to have anywhere from six, eight or ten questions to bring to the interview. You also need to ask questions due to you possibly spending x-amount of years for this employer. Questions should be in reference to the business, its culture and what they look for in a potential candidate for the job. For help and ideas, you can also look up questions online or Google them. Make certain to dress in your Sunday best as well. Clothing for women should be a dress or a pantsuit while men should wear a suit, white shirt and a tie. Remember to dress for success—whether it’s a practice run, on the phone, via Skype or it’s the actual interview.
If you’re driving to the interview, make certain to print out directions from either Google or MapQuest. If the interview takes under 30 to 45 minutes, you may want to do a trial run to the location. Also, during rush-hour, one should leave at least 15 or 20 minutes earlier than he or she intended. One should arrive about ten or fifteen minutes early, and make certain your car is clean in case an associate there walks you back to your car. Refrain from smoking (if you do this bad habit) and from wearing perfume or cologne. People may have allergies or get turned off by it. Keep your cell-phone turned off or better yet, leave it in the car. You don’t want to make a bad impression when the phone rings during the interview!
Once you arrive for the interview, make certain to be polite to everyone at the job location. This doesn’t mean just the people conducting the interview. Secretaries, janitors and even the doorman deserve your courtesy. You never know who or what can determine your employment at the company.
In other words, that first impression can either make or break you. But those first seven seconds are vital to the foundation of you getting that job interview. Small talk and having questions and information about your potential employer can help you on that road to success. That is a process that a person is trying to sell himself or herself—you, the person, are the product!
So go out and march to the beat of your own drum. It may not be an actual drum set that John Densmore, Ringo Starr or Ginger Baker would play, but you get the picture. Try to get music and lyrics—literally or figuratively—to be in sync to what you need to do. Be original and don’t try to copy a cover song that you work on, though someone else’s invention could inspire some of your own innovation.
So let’s get marching to beat the band! Hut-two-three-four!
Happy 2016! I wish you all the best of luck to you in your job search and for the other happiness waiting around the corner for you. Ideas to motivate and to move oneself forward are always out there. Just be certain to not copy someone entirely though bits and pieces for inspiration are fine—as long as they’re not trademarked! Also, remember that Consciousness Magazine and I don’t take any responsibility for anything written in this article. Make this year the best one yet!