They say first impressions are the most important, and when we hear that phrase we start to prepare for it. First, we start with a checklist of things on what not do to and what to do. For example be on time to an interview, have your resumes clean and crisps for the interviewer, and dress professional. Well as much as appearance is important, it’s not everything we have to think about. The most important thing about your appearance includes the following: Basic Hygiene, tamed hair and nails, and an interviewing outfit that is tailored to the industry. Remember not the job you have, but the one you want to have!
Now that we have covered that, let’s talk about the things that scream “Don’t Hire Me”! People truly underestimate “Posture”. Posture can yell to the interviewer that the interviewee is not motivated, not interested, not confident, is immature, and does not have the ability or energy to do this job. Whoa, yes that’s right; your posture can say all these things. According to Debra L Angel and Elisabeth Harney the authors of “No One Is Unemployable”, it is in the top four non-verbal behaviors to consider. Just make sure that you sit up straight during your interview, you know, like your mom use to say, or in my case my piano teacher.
Let’s talk about those “facial expressions”. In an interview you want good eye contact, and you want a pleasant smile. Not too much and not too little. You do not want to appear unengaged, and you do not want to have awkward long lasting contact either. You definitely don’t want to have a big goofy smile on your face, unless you are interviewing to be a Disney character at the Disney Theme park. Here are some simple steps to help you with this process. First, practice interviewing in the mirror so you can start to tame those facial expressions, and secondly, if you always have a resume in front of you, you can always look down to refer back to it and break that awkward eye contact every few seconds or so.
The infamous “Handshake”! A man once shook my hand so hard that when I was introducing myself and giving him my name, my voice was actually shaking!!! On another note, I stabbed a woman once with a charm from my charm bracelet that was a little too long. There are lots of things to consider as men and women shaking hands, but here’s the most important thing to remember. Have a nice firm handshake, but know your audience. Your size and the person’s size play a big part in your handshake. Some people can handle some firmness and some cannot. It is up to you to ensure that you know your audience. Be careful to stay true to your handshake but be considerate of others.
Now ask yourself, have you yelled don’t hire me lately?
Kendria White, Director of Career Services, Dallas Campus