How to Look the Part and Ace the Interview

By the time you get the call for an in-person interview, you can be sure that the company is giving your application serious consideration. Passing the resume screening is a big step, but if you want to be sure to get the job, the interview will be essential. The first impression you give in an interview is essential to whether or not the company will consider you further or if you will be immediately eliminated as a candidate. The way you present yourself, therefore, will be essential in giving the right first impression. Here are four ways you can ensure that you are properly presentable to give your best first impression to your potential employer.

Tailor Your Clothes

Do a little research on the company culture before the interview. What does the dress code seem to be? Is it “business casual” or do you need to break out your nicest suit on a regular basis? Regardless of what you discover, it’s important to arrive at the interview looking professional. The general rule is to dress one step above what the everyday dress code is for the position you want. If the clothing is casual, you should dress in business casual. If the standard is business casual, then dress formally. Dressing properly and professionally shows the interviewer that you take your application seriously and know how to show your best self,

Make Sure You’re Groomed

You want to make sure that your personality and skills stand out instead of your grooming habits. While not all industries have rules against beards, it may be prudent to at least trim it close for the interview. For women, it is best to go with a simple and professional hairstyle. Something that can easily fall apart will make you stressed and distracted. Also, avoid any extreme hair colorings, leave all but one pair of ear piercings at home, and if possible, cover up your tattoos. Again, while not all industries are strict in these regards, it is important to show your most professional self for the interview. Do not wear perfume or cologne, keep your outfit color-scheme conservative with muted colors, and avoid tight or revealing clothing.

Bring Your Best Smile

One of the greatest factors of any first impression is the smile that you present. Both the appearance of your smile and the sincerity of it can greatly affect how the interviewer perceives you. No matter what industry you apply to, your smile is going to make a major impact on your perceived intelligence and amiability. Broken, missing, or extremely stained teeth should be seen by a cosmetic dentist to ensure the very best impression. To give a winning and sincere smile, your smile should show mostly your top row of teeth, the corners of your mouth should crinkle at least a little, and your cheeks should lift slightly towards your eyes. Practice a sincere smile in the mirror beforehand, and you’ll be much more likely to come across as a strong candidate.

Practice a Firm Handshake

A handshake is another key aspect of looking the part. They’re part of your first impression and can seal the deal when you leave. Have a grip that’s neither too weak nor too strong. You don’t want to crush your interviewer’s hand or jerk their wrist about. Doing this can convey an overly assertive and socially awkward personality. By the same token, limp wrists convey an overly timid and indecisive personality. One of the best ways to obtain the perfect shake is to mimic the strength of the other person. Give a gentle shake, like shaking the hand of a child, then increase your intensity to match the interviewer’s. This will show a perceptive and considerate personality. Practice with friends and family so that you become more capable of gauging expectations in the moment.
An interview is more than just the time to discuss your qualifications; it is also the time your potential employer gets to see the person behind the resume. Your physical presentation of yourself is essential in this stage of the hiring process and should be approached with care and preparation. Start now, and when you have your first interview, you will be fully prepared to show the very best of your professional abilities.