Aside from doing your homework and researching the job you’re about to be interviewed for, here are some tips you can easily overlook that could make the difference between making a positive or negative first impression.
Read the list, see what you think and make adjustments to your pre-interview routine as you best see fit. All the best to you as you pursue that next position!
Get your shoes out the night before and spend 5 minutes polishing them. All shoe stores sell various polishes and protectants yet many buyers only leave with their shoes. When you sit down in front of interviews your footwear is often front and center; especially if you cross your legs and elevate one over the other, thus raising it directly in their line of sight. The interviewer can infer you don’t put much value in personal appearance if you’re footwear is poorly maintained and if this is you at your best, you might not be the person to represent the company.
Depending on the job you are going for, you can play it conservative and wear solid colours that match your outfit or you can go playful. If you’re unsure, opt for the conservative black, brown, grey etc. This isn’t the time or place to wear two different socks as the interviewer has a limited time period to ask you pertinent questions that relate to the job and one of them isn’t going to be, “What’s with the socks?” Therefore, they’ll be left to wonder if you’re just having fun, showing off your individualism, bucking the establishment or you just generally don’t recognize the occasions when you should dress appropriately.
3. Tattoos And Piercings
The general public once associated people who displayed tattoos as being criminals and sailors, piercings as being for punkers and those into self-mutilation. Today, people in all walks of life have tattoos and they’ve become mainstream. However, you have to use common sense when making up your mind to expose or cover up your personal artwork. Knowing the culture of the company you are applying for, anticipating the reaction of the customers, clients or end-users of the companies services and products can all help guide you in your decision. Of course, the tattoo itself and what it communicates has to be paramount. You can always remove piercings for an interview, or even the job once you’ve got it if it’s important to you and add them back when hired or on your own time.
4. Shirts, Blouses, Pants, Skirts And Dresses
Notice I didn’t include shorts and neither should you. Get out what you’re wearing the night before an interview or if you’ve got your favourite interview outfit, check it out now rather than later. Look for obvious signs of wear and tear such as frayed cuffs and hems. When standing in front of a mirror, have you gained or lost weight and the fit isn’t what it once was? Aside from stains that can come out in a wash, have the garments faded and now look drab? Have you any loose or missing buttons that need sewing?
5. Brush Your Teeth
Whether you’re a smoker or not, brushing your teeth before the interview not only removes any stuck food but can improve your breath and impact your confidence. Head out to a pharmacy or grocery store and pick up a small tube of toothpaste, a small or collapsible brush and a mini bottle of mouthwash. These you can stash in your purse, glove compartment box or even an inner jacket pocket of your coat.
Shower, use deodorant and if you’ve got annoying sweat lines under your chest or under your armpits, dust yourself with some baby powder after the shower dry off. The baby powder will help reduce those sweat lines and give you one less thing to worry about. Clean and trim your fingernails; trim the nasal hairs too.
7. Perfume and Cologne
These days someone in the company you are applying to is likely to have some allergy to fragrances. It might even be a company policy that you arrive without a scent; what’s pleasing to you might be deadly to someone else and that someone could be the person prepared to interview you. Some applicants are told that the interview can’t proceed unless they can wash off the fragrance and rescheduling may or may not be possible. Don’t lose the interview and thereto the job over this.
8. Hair Care
If you’re the applicant who out of habit plays with their bangs or locks, get it back and out of reach. If it constantly falls over your eyes and you have to continually toss it back or move it off your face with your hands, choose a hairstyle that eliminates this. Ensure it’s clean, groomed and this goes for beards and moustaches too.
9. Business or Business Casual?
Before the interview, check the expected attire worn each day by current employees. Does the company have a policy or dress code you could adhere to right from the interview? Find out.
You want to impress them with your knowledge and your answers. Too bad if they can’t hear you over the jewelry on your wrists or they can’t get over the distracting earrings or necklaces. Keep your accessories to a minimum as they should highlight you not the other way around. Clean your glasses ahead of the interview as well.
Written By Kelly Mitchell
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