So you've practiced and practiced interviewing and now you're ready for the big day to present yourself in person. You've rehearsed the questions, prepared your responses, researched the organization, and know in your heart that you're perfect for the job, right?
But wait! Have you also considered some of the little things that can make or break your chances of moving to round two? Don't get yourself ruled out because of some personal factor within your control. All the right answers in the world won't help you if you're doing some little thing to sabotage self! Take a look at the following factors to make sure that you're presenting your very best self in the interview.
- Your clothing -- are you dressed in attire that exudes professionalism and serious business or will the decision-maker remember your outlandish accessories and inappropriate clothing?
- Your hair -- is it washed and combed or does it need some help?
- Your eyes -- are they clear and bright or tired and bloodshot? Are you comfortable looking at the prospective employer as you speak, or do you avoid eye contact?
- Your hands -- are your fingernails clean and manicured? Is your handshake firm and confident or limp and lame?
- Your teeth -- are they brushed and clean? Are they as bright white as you'd like? How is your smile?
- Your breath -- does it smell fresh? If not, what can you do to make it better?
- Your feet -- are you wearing professional-looking shoes? Are they polished? Are they appropriate for the interview?
- Your mannerisms -- do you have any particular mannerisms that are distracting? Biting your nails, playing with your hair, cracking your knuckles, fidgeting or squirming, tapping your fingers, your ringing cell phone -- distractions.
- Use sense with your scents -- minimize the amount of cologne or fragrance you apply prior to the interview; some people are allergic to the smell and the aroma lingers long after you're gone.
What, if any, of these personal factors can you enhance to make a better first impression? Add to this list any other personal factors that warrant your attention before the interview. In today's competitive market place, the little things do mean a lot.