Your self-presentation needs to be one of a qualified and confident professional. This includes proper dress, hygiene, materials, and body language. Studies indicate that up to 90% of communication is received non-verbally! Therefore, projecting a positive image before you even open your mouth will increase your chances of success.
Dress for Success
In order to get the offer you need to look the part. Your respectful image will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer. If you are not sure what the proper attire is due to a casual workplace, ask the HR Manager or other contacts for advice.
Some general guidelines:
- Dress in well-tailored and wrinkle-free clothing. Avoid material such as silk and linen.
- Wear colors that are suitable for the industry and are representative of you. In some of the more conservative fields, such as finance, the blue suit is still the norm. However, in other fields some creative self-expression such as a patterned scarf or brighter colors is acceptable and may enable the interviewer to remember you better.
- Wear polished and scuff-free shoes. Women should wear heels no taller than 3 inches.
- Wear long hair back in a clip or ponytail, as hair that is unkempt is distracting and unprofessional.
- Women should avoid excessive make-up and opt for natural colors.
Maybe it seems unnecessary to mention, but bad personal hygiene can leave a deeply negative impression. Many interviewers indicate that being turned off by bad personal hygiene will adversely affect how they perceive the candidate.
- Take a shower the day of your interview.
- Brush and floss your teeth well.
- Do not wear heavy perfume or cologne. Many people are sensitive to strong smells and you will most likely be in a small room together.
- Carry Kleenex with you to wipe your hands and brow if necessary. You will be shaking hands a lot and sweaty palms are not appealing.
- Bring breath mints and have one in between each interview.