How to Nail a Job Interview by Projecting Professionalism
An interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when you do not know precisely what to do, how to behave, or respond. Luckily, there are things you can do that will help you gain the confidence that is much needed to interact with your potential bosses professionally.
An interview moment starts the very minute you dress up for the occasion. For the interview to be a success, it has everything to do with the way you are going to represent yourself, not just by words, but by your looks and actions.
Your CV might have highlighted your stellar educational background and impressive career achievements. But the moment you enter the interview room, you instantly create either the same impression as your CV or a totally different one even without saying a word. That’s how powerful your dress code is.
Remember, the invitation alone is proof that you are among the candidates that were considered to be qualified with the skill set that matched the recruiter’s requirements. Now is the time to demonstrate, in person, to the interviewers that you are the best person to be confirmed for the position.
There are no second chances of creating the first impression. So when you are meeting someone, worse a group of interviewers, there are some simple rules to always keep in mind. According to Ann Sowden of “Here’s Looking At You,” the way you dress up and express yourself in front of the panelist speaks volume about yourself and will influence the outcome of the interview.
Below is what she had to say about projecting a professional image during an interview.
Maintain a straight posture and keep your shoulders back. Standing up straight makes a huge difference when creating the first impression. Besides, it makes you feel better about yourself. Who doesn’t want that?
Learn how to shake hands. Some of us are talented and exceptionally good in what we do, but we are socially awkward, and simple things like shaking hands properly might be a problem. If you are that person, you are not alone. As such, you don’t have to shy away from asking for a little assistance from friends and family. According to Sowden, there is nothing worse than an awkward handshake. When shaking your hands, stand up confidently, smile, and do so while looking at the other person in the eyes. Smiling and eye contact portrays confidence and an accepting attitude towards others.
Throughout the interview, maintain eye contact, and be sure not to stare.
If such moments trigger your sweat glands and make your hands clammy from time to time, have a tissue in your pocket and gently squeeze it between your hands before any handshake.
In case you are given a business card, let it sit in front of you at the desk and look at it during the interview. It’s a simple but very effective trick of getting people’s names correctly.
Be conscious of your sitting posture. For instance, never slouch as this may project a bad image about you.
Never go to an interview without a plan of what you want to accomplish. Giving straight answers about your accomplishments and what you plan to achieve in the foreseeable future with confidence and in a way that’s assuring will give you more points during the interview.
Take your time and rehearse on how to introduce yourself. If you can get someone to practice with, the better, but if you have to do it by yourself, you can stand in front of a mirror.
Your Images Speak Volumes About You.
Sowden offered the following advice about the attire you should wear
- Go for the classic style that you can afford.
- Wear clothes that cover most of your body. Dressing conservatively is the key. For instance, skirt length should be around the knee cap.
- Take a deep dive into Google or whatever search engine you are familiar with and lookup for the dress code of the position you are applying for. For instance, if it’s project expertise, wearing a jacket won’t be a bad idea.
- Don’t wear something you are not comfortable in. You need to wear something that will bolster your confidence and make you feel good about yourself.
- Take it easy with your jewelry and carry either a briefcase or a purse—not both.
How you look will definitely affect the outcome. So follow these simple rules on what you should wear and, most importantly, prepare yourself in advance.