Job interviews can be stressful. After all, you have to convince strangers that you have what it takes to work for their business! It is an absolute must that you present yourself in the best light. First impressions last forever, especially in the professional world. Here are 10 effortless ways to look more professional at your next interview!
If you choose to wear makeup for your interview, keep in mind that it needs to be appropriate. A little bit of mascara and blush can for fire boost up your confidence; however, it might not be a great time to try a new makeup look. Stick to a casual, professional look when getting ready for your interview!
Similarly, the day of your interview might be the best day to try a new look. If you tend to play with your hair when you’re nervous, go for a high ponytail or use a bobby pin to get the hair out of your face.
Your nail polish should either be all or nothing, no in-between! After all, chipped nail polish is not a clean nor a professional look. If you choose to paint or get your nails done, it is a good idea to go for subtle nude colors. Neon nail polish as an absolute “no”!
What you wear to your job interview is crucial. Personally, I believe that it is always better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed. Therefore go for a modest, business look. It is also essential to understand the difference between business casual and business professional attire.
Business casual attire is most likely what you will be wearing once you get hired (depending on where you work and what your position is, of course). Business casual includes jeans, open-toed shoes, but only if they’re heels, more casual dresses, and skirts (midi only). However, business casual is not what you should typically wear to a job interview.
Business professional is a typical job interview uniform. Business professional includes a conservative and modest style along with nude and subtle colors. Jeans, short skirts and dressed that fall above the knee, tank tops, and strapless tops should be absolutely avoided. Also, open-toed shoes are a no as well. When in doubt, always lean on a business professional, modest look.
The way you introduce and carry yourself says a lot about you. Typically, at your arrival, you would go to the front desk and introduce yourself. Work on your greeting. For example, “Hello, my name is __, I am here for a job interview.” Don’t forget to be polite and smile! No employer wants to hire somebody who is not enthusiastic about working for them.
Afterward, you most likely will be asked to sit in a waiting area and wait for the person or people who will be interviewing you. Though it might be tempting, try not to check your phone while waiting. Instead, look around and get to know the building. Look at other workers and see what they are wearing and doing. You might be one of them soon!
A firm handshake shows confidence. Therefore, as silly as it may sound, practice your handshake. Don’t squeeze too hard, but don’t be too loose. Just carefully yet optimistically shake your employer’s hand while sharing eye contact and smiling. Practice your handshake with a family member or a friend to find out what a good handshake feels like!
The whole reason for a job interview is to get to know you as an employee; therefore don’t be shy to talk about yourself. Be prepared to answer questions about your past work history and your skills. Though bragging is not nice, at a job interview, you should mention your accomplishments and all the positive feedback you have gotten from others.
To avoid those awkward “ums,” practice answering questions and talking about yourself with a friend or in front of a mirror. Explain each skill and provide and real-life example. Remember, you are trying to show the employer why their business needs you!
Chances are, you will e asked about your biggest weakness or something that challenges you. You must be very careful when answering this question.
Though we are all human and not perfect when it comes to the professional world, we should always strive for excellence. Therefore, it is important to highlight that your weakness is something you are continually improving on. For example, if you say that sometimes you get stressed out during hectic situations, you need to mention what steps you are taking to improve on your stress-management skills. Are you counting till 10 in your head to calm down? Do you speak words of confirmation to yourself? Mention everything you are doing to improve your challenges.
Pro tip: there are some negatives that you should avoid mentioning. For example, if you struggle with attendance such as getting to work on time, you shouldn’t mention (but absolutely keep working on it, being late doesn’t only hurt you but also your co-workers!). Nobody wants an employee who is late to work or doesn’t show up. Talk about a weakness that can be turned into a positive one!
Bring your planner or a notebook with you, and don’t be afraid to take notes! Though your primary focus should be on the person who is interviewing you, it is not a bad idea to jot down important details that they are telling you about. Some things to take notes on daily routine, important dates, dress code, and what day the employer expects you to start.
The person who interviewed you took the time out of their busy day to get to know you; therefore, you should absolutely thank them for their time and the opportunity. Follow up with an email or better yet, with a thank-you note to the employer or human resources department. This will leave an excellent first impression and make you stand out from other candidates!