Interviewing for a new job is an awkward and frightening experience. In many ways, it’s similar to college dating days again. After all, first impressions count. Hygiene is vital. Being friendly, approachable, and likable is critical. So before going back on that dating scene…er, uh, job interview, here are five tips to freshen up…in case it’s been a while.
Job Interview Personal Appearance
Deals are made or lost on first impressions. So be sure your appearance isn’t what costs you an opportunity to land your dream job. In today’s culture, many offices and professional work environments are very relaxed. Dress professionally, though, even if the office has a Friday casual vibe and attire.
No matter the professional setting, you don’t have the job yet. You need to go to the interview dressed to land a job, not as though you are heading to happy hour.
Personal Hygiene for a Job Interview
Incredibly this even has to be discussed, but you would be surprised. Be sure to shower on the day of your interview. Even if you don’t typically shower every day, make a point to shower on the day of your interview. Interviewers offended by your scent will be sure to end the interview early.
The other side is don’t put too much perfume or cologne on; in fact, error on the side on no perfume or cologne. Just as you don’t need the offending scent of not showering to chase the interviewer out of the room, you don’t need the overbearing scent of too much perfume or cologne choking the life out of the interviewer.
If your interview is scheduled right after breakfast or lunch, brush your teeth before the interview. It’s incredible how quickly your qualifications go out the window when you are remembered as the person with broccoli or sesame seeds stuck between your teeth.
Interview Preparation and Your Resume
One of the deadly sins of interviewing is not being prepared. Your interview is more than just an interview. It should be considered a test. Anything you are unprepared to answer is like a failed answer on a test.
One of the worst offenses to preparation is not being aware of what is on your resume. Be sure you know everything on your resume. When an interviewer asks you about experiences listed on your resume, and you are not prepared to speak to it, you should get up and leave because you are not getting the job.
Have at least five copies of your resume on resume paper to hand out during the interview. Don’t assume the person interviewing you has a copy of your resume or even saw your resume before walking into the interview room. Be prepared to give anyone you meet a copy of your resume.
Ask Questions During the Interview
The worst thing you can do for your chances of landing a job is not to have any questions for the interviewer at the end of the interview process.
You should have at least 3-5 questions written down before entering the interview. For example, how long has this job been open? Why is it open; did someone leave the job, or is it newly created? If someone left, why did they go? Other questions could be about the company or the department you will work for.
Questions tie back to preparation, and it is essential to have questions prepared. Remember, this is your opportunity to interview the company too. So you need to figure out if this is the right fit for you.
Personable and Appreciative
An interview can be very taxing, mainly if multiple interviews occur on the same day. Be sure to be personable and appreciative of the interviewer’s time. If several people were interviewing you, thank them all individually.
Before ending the interview, ask the interviewer for a business card or contact information. Then, ask them if emailing them afterward with any follow-up questions would be ok. Whether you have questions or not, follow up immediately with a “thank you” email to anyone who interviewed you. Be appreciative of their time and the information they provided.
Interviewing is a tough enough process to go through as it is. For some, it can be a very exhausting experience. Putting your best foot forward in the process may not necessarily land you the job, but it should get you in the front door.