How to Appear Professional in a Job Interview

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Sometimes it takes so much effort getting an interview that we don’t put enough effort into appearing professional for the interview.  However, appearing professional is essential in order to seal the deal and to be successful at the interview.

The first impression is often the impression that will stick in the employer’s mind.  It is often the first impression that determines whether or not a job offer is successfully gotten.  This is especially true when the interviewer is interviewing dozens or more people.  The rest of the interview will often be the employer confirming his or her first impression of you. 

That being said, what is necessary to achieve a good first impression?

  • A good hello and handshake.   Say good morning or good afternoon.  Then follow it with a handshake.  Be firm but not overpowering.  The hello and handshake are extremely important to ward forming the first impression.  It is important that you do them well.
  • Good, fluid conversation.  You must be able to converse in a manner that seems professional.  Don’t use slang vocabulary.  Talk like a professional.  Sometimes young people imitate famous people that use a lot of slang or use informal English.  That is a big mistake in a job interview.  Speak with confidence in a clear dialect.
  • Avoid personal information.  Avoid talking too much about yourself, your pets, your hobbies, and so on.  Keep the conversation professional.  Don’t bring politics or religion into the interview.
  • Don’t get nervous.  Don’t be nervous or sweaty.  Be confident on the outside, even if you feel a little insecure on the inside.  If you are worried about getting too nervous, you might want to dress up for an interview and then interview with a friend or family member before the interview.
  • Dress professionally.  For men that means that you should have dress pants, dress shoes and a buttoned down shirt.  A tie is optional but can’t hurt as long as you know how to tie it well.  For women, wear something serious that doesn’t seem too flirty.  You don’t want to get hired for your looks alone as you might never overcome the image of being attractive, but unskilled.  Dress in a professional manner that plays on your looks but doesn’t rely on them.  Both men and women should make sure they have a fresh haircut and that the hair style looks professional.

Remember tha the first thirty seconds are the most important.  That means that you need to have a confident, professional look in your clothes and in the way you carry yourself.  Be confident and look everyone in the eye.  If you avoid eye contact, you might seem insecure or unprofessional.

Good luck!

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