You finally got that interview you’ve been wanting, so it’s important to make a great first impression. What does that look like? Certainly don’t show up with purple hair, a nose ring or sneakers with your suit.
In a word, you must get your POLISH on!
Each of us has strengths, experiences, and natural expertise that sets us apart from others. Making a good impression means making sure those unique qualities shine.
Talents and Accomplishments
These are the quantifiable experiences you’ve had that relate to the work place, particularly the job for which you’re applying.
Be prepared to talk about:
- Leadership roles you’ve taken and their specific results
- Projects you’ve completed and their outcomes
- Awards or recognition you’ve received
- Internships and practical experience
There are certain soft skills employers look for to complement job functions. Soft skills refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that help make someone a good employee. These skills are just as important as hard skills. Know what yours are and capitalize on them.
The 10 Top Soft Skills are
- Strong work ethic
- Problem Solving
- Positive attitude
- Team player
- Good communication
- Time management
- Accept/Learn from criticism
- Works well under pressure
You’ve heard it before… dress for the job you want. It’s true! It’s always better to be overdressed than under-dressed. A last-minute check should include hanging threads from hems, stray hairs, and lint.
- Clean, pressed clothing
- Shined shoes
- Light on fragrance and makeup
- Dark, neutral colors
- No garish accessories (ties, scarves, jewelry)
- No chipped nail polish
- No plunging necklines or miniskirts
- Avoid open toed shoes, stilettos or sandals
- Be honest, yet humble. Convey that you hold yourself to the same standard you hold others.
- Look interested. Follow the lead of your interviewer.
- Stop talking – yes, that’s right – there’s a fine line between giving enough versus too much information.
- Don’t ramble. Be thoughtful and purposeful in everything you say.
- Be confident. Stand tall and sit straight; slouching could be misunderstood as sloppy or that you don’t care.
There are some basic good manners that are a must. These include a solid handshake, good eye contact, nice speaking volume, and a genuine smile!
- If a hand is not offered to shake, extend yours anyway as a sign of good will.
- Don’t complain about a previous employer. Be constructive and tactful in your comments. Show class.
- Be conscientious of the interviewer’s busy schedule and offer sincere thanks for their time.