When you walk into an interview, remember that it takes only 30 seconds to make a lasting impression. Research has shown that the first impression you make on an interviewer really sticks. Fortunately, there are some actions you can consider to help you to create the first impression:
Few things give a worst impression like coming up late for an important meeting. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the interview in case you have trouble finding the office. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early and beeline for the reception area, your interviewer might feel rushed and you might appear desperate, according to Emily Post's book "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Ideally, you should check in five to 10 minutes early and always be courteous and professional to everyone you meet you never know how much influence the receptionist may have on the hiring decision.
Like it or not, people make judgments on appearances, so it's important to arrive at the interview looking like a professional. But if you dress too formally, you'll look stuffy, and if you dress too casually, the interviewer may think you're not serious about the job. Never wear anything sloppy, tight or revealing to an interview. High-quality, tailored business suits are always appropriate for both men and women. And don't forget the details: Make sure your shoes and any other accessories are clean and polished. Clothes may make the woman/man, but hair and hygiene are crucial.
According to Emily Post's book, your grip speaks volumes. Give a bone-crunching squeeze and you can appear overly enthusiastic or domineering -- and it hurts! But when you shake with a medium-firm grip, you convey confidence and authority. Extend your hand and grip when the webs of your palms touch. Then, pump your hand a couple of times.
Don't underestimate the importance of your posture and subtle movements. A study by Albert Mehrabian of UCLA found that 55 percent of communication is received from body language. To ensure your body language signals your confidence, sit up straight with your shoulders back. Avoid crossing your legs and don't adopt a casual pose -- even if your interviewer does. Even if you're nervous, try not to be restless. Don't play with your jewelry, twirl your hair or cross your arms, and try to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. If staring straight into the interviewer's eyes makes you uncomfortable, look at the bridge of his or her nose instead .It looks like you're still making eye contact, but might be less distracting.
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