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Four Interviewing Tips to Present Yourself Better Professionally

08.03.2016

Whether it is your first interview or you have interviewed at so many places that you have lost count, going into a job interview can be both an exciting and scary experience. It can be an especially intimidating experience if you know there are several other people trying to get the same job. Unfortunately, even if you are the best candidate for the job, if you present yourself unprofessionally, you could miss out on the job. A recent  Business Insider talked about some of the habits that could cost you the job offer and gave interviewing tips to help you present yourself more professionally.

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Be On Time

It is important to be at least five minutes early for an interview. This shows that you take the interview seriously, that you are responsible, and that you respect the interviewer’s time. Do not show up too early, though, this can interfere with the person’s schedule. If you find yourself arriving too early, wait in your car for a few minutes, walk around the neighborhood, or do something else to take up some time.

Avoid Texting While You Wait

Yes, if you have arrived at an appropriate time, you will likely have to wait for the interviewer to be ready. Texting your friends while you wait can make it look like you would rather be somewhere else. It is generally best to leave your phone in your car. At the very least, turn off the sound, and put it out of sight.

Many waiting areas have magazines or brochures. Grab one of those and look through it while you are waiting. If there is a brochure on the company, pick it up, and look through it so you can show an interest in the business.

Present Yourself Appropriately Physically

This really comes down to two things. First of all, dress appropriately for the job. Avoid dressing sloppy, which gives off the impression that you do not care about the job. On the other end of the spectrum, avoid dressing too formally. If you are dressed too formally, the interviewer may also decide you have not researched the company and that you are not a good fit for the company.

The second issue is hygiene. Make sure to shower and otherwise present yourself as a clean person who cares about how you look. Lack of proper hygiene, particularly if you smell bad, can be a distraction to the interviewer. According to Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert:

Lack of effort in your appearance can be construed as potentially lacking effort in your work and work area.

Watch What You Say

Avoid swearing. Swearing is almost certain to eliminate you from even being considered for the position. Be sure to treat everyone involved with the hiring process with respect. This includes everyone from the receptionist to the hiring manager. Being rude or overly informal toward the receptionist could get back to the hiring manager and destroy your chances of getting the job.

Be careful how you answer questions. While you should be honest, it is also important to not overshare or badmouth former bosses or coworkers. Overall, it is better to pause and think through what you are going to say rather than just blurting out the first thing that comes to your mind. Thinking through the question allows the interviewer to see that you really care about the question and are taking the interview process seriously.

Of course, these are just some of the tips for a successful interview. Reading the full article can help you understand other mistakes you might be making in the interview process and what you should do differently.