Landing an interview in a job search is cause for celebration. The interview experience alone is a valuable skill to master professionally and is invaluable since it can set the tone for any possible employment tenure.
Follow these simple tips to make sure your interview shines in part 2 of our series:
Dress to impress… yourself! Feel confident in what you are wearing. Be professional, yet find comfort in your choices. If you are uncomfortable, there is an increased possibility that the interviewers will be able to pick up on this during the interview. Select pieces that keep the focus on you. Pieces that are too busy or colorful fight for attention when you should be the one shining. Jewelry should also be minimal; simple studs or no earrings are ideal. Avoid accessorizing with large necklaces or bracelets because too much can be a distraction.
Simple and natural cosmetics enhance personal attributes instead of hiding. Focus on products that highlight the eye, but be subtle when applying. This will help with establishing eye contact. Eye contact helps build rapport and connection with those interviewing you. Looking the interviewer in the eye is key, but like everything, there is a balance to be struck. Staring too long can be uncomfortable. Be natural in your attention. The most attractive attribute you can possess is confidence. Impress yourself and others will follow.
When entering the interview, never rush into the room and grab the first chair you come too. The company recognizes the potential in you and you have earned your right to be there. Follow the interviewer’s lead and let them find their place first. If your interview is set in a meeting room, try to sit diagonally from your interviewers. Avoid sitting on the same side or opposite of them, if possible. The diagonal position helps create an open space between the different parties and avoids the invisible wall that often occurs. The objective is to tear down walls, not create them.
Remain focused on the interview. Leave any problems, doubts, and uncertainty out of the interview process. Carrying negativity will only limit your ability to interview well. Picture the interview room as a safe room and all the negativity cannot find you within those four walls.
A fail-safe way to make yourself stand out is a smile on your face. If you are enjoying the process, interviewers take notice and majority of the time see you as a positive force with potential for their team and they want that force on their side. One-dimensional individuals are not highly sought after by employers. They want a candidate with personality. Where skill or experience fall leave something to be desired, a great personality can bridge the gap.
Be aware of your body language. Avoid slouching, hunching shoulders, wringing hands, playing with hair, re-positioning yourself in your seat, or darting your eyes around the room. These actions scream “uncomfortable” and can be red flags to interviewers. A relaxed, but confident body language conveys a competent, comfortable individual. Sit tall as if you were standing. Hand gestures help emphasize key points and communicate passion, but use them cautiously to avoid appearing bombastic. Body language can communicate just as much as verbal language so it is an important tool in climbing corporate ladders. It’s important to remember that an interview is more than the sum of its parts; being yourself and communicating authentically will make it all come together.
Be sure to read the first part of our series here to help yourself mentally prepare. Good luck!