When you attend an interview, there are lots of things to think about, but one of the things that often gets forgotten about is the bits of the jigsaw puzzle of the things that are you and making them work. Things like what you wear, how you style your hair and how you stand all add up to your personal brand. So while you need to stay true to yourself at interview, do make sure that your brand is sending out all the right messages to help you bag you your dream job.
Here are 5 key things we think you should be thinking about:
Making the right entrance. There are various statistics bandied about regarding how long it takes to make a first impression. One of the shortest we’ve read is about 7 seconds and others say that you have a few minutes. Either way, it’s safe to say that you have a relatively short period of time to make the right impression on your prospective employers. As a result, making the right entrance into the interview room is essential. When you enter a room, it’s important not to be bent over, looking at the floor and wiping sweaty palms on your legs! When you make your entrance, you need to be standing square, stepping confidently and leading with your best hand, ready for a firm handshake. Even if you don’t feel confident, this body language will make you look confident and might even successfully trick your mind into feeling more confident. This part of your branding process is easy to practice at home in front of a mirror or by using the video on your mobile phone. If you’re unsure about whether your ‘entrance’ is reinforcing what you’re saying about yourself in your CV or covering letter, today’s the day to take action!
Dressing the part. Understated style, elegance and class is something that certain people do effortlessly but if it’s not something you’re able to achieve alone, seek help. Plenty of department stores offer personal shoppers and if a service of that nature is outside your reach, then friends and family should be able to help. Understated needn’t mean bland, just make sure once again that any bold statements you make in your attire match up with your CV and covering letter claims.
Holding your body. Even if your interview outfit is more H&M than Harvey Nichols, how you hold your body can raise even the most modest High Street attire to designer class. The way you hold your body sends out huge messages about you. Shoulders back, head high and hips forward are just the starting points. What you should do is study people you respect and identify how they hold their bodies to reinforce their brand then find your own style and practice it to perfection before your big day.
Looking the part. In the same way that the owner of a dog going to Crufts does all they can to make sure their ‘best of breed’ hopeful has bright eyes and a glossy coat before they make their appearance, you owe it to yourself to do the same thing. Exercise, plenty of sleep and a healthy diet will make you look good from the inside out and your efforts will show in your branding on the day. Although not something you can achieve overnight, even just a few days of healthy living before your interview will help you glow with that ‘something’ that not everyone has.
Looking ‘the enemy’ in the eye. The right eye contact will send out strong messages about the brand that is you. Looking your interviewers square in the eye when you speak to them as well as casting your eye across the entire group in a panel interview will make it clear that the you you describe in your CV and covering letter is the real you that’s sitting in front of them.
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