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interview essentials

Scoring a dream job is much trickier than it used to be. Gone are the days when your degree was an automatic foot-in-the-door. Employers are looking for applicants who have a proven track record of passion and experience in addition to the required educational level. When your previous experience is good-but-not-outstanding and your grades were adequate-but-not-honors material, how do you get your message across that you’re still the best candidate for the job?

Go for the first impression. By showing up in full business attire with a bright and shining smile that matches your attitude, a firm handshake, and a business card that directs potential employers to your impressive online resume, you’ll prove to the powers that be that your name is the one that should be on the next office door.

Wear The Best Your Wardrobe Has to Offer

First impressions mean everything when it comes to job interviews. This means dragging out the suit and tie, business skirt or slacks, nice shiny shoes and all the accessories. Everything should be as bright and shining as the hopes and dreams you’ve pinned to this new position. First impressions are usually formed within the first 30 seconds, states career coach, Brenda Ferguson Hodges. If your shoes are worn out or your tie is stained, kiss that new corner office goodbye.

Bring Along Your Smile

Even if your clothes aren’t top-of-the-line designer fashions, your prospective employer is much less likely to notice if you dazzle him with your smile and affable personality. Every boss wants to work with someone who’s happy and well-adjusted. Flash him a smile that shows off the best of your pearly whites then sit back and wait for the opportunity to rock your interview.

Offer Up A Firm Handshake

Equally as important as your appearance is a well-executed handshake. There are four common mistakes people make when it comes to shaking hands, according to Ready to be Rich:

  • Sweaty Palms
  • A Too-Limp Grip
  • A Too-Firm Grip
  • A Near Miss

To impress your prospective employer with your handshaking skills, maintain eye contact throughout, reach confidently forward, grip his extended hand and match his grip, shake up and down once or twice and then release.

Pull Out Your Business Card

Even if you’ve already offered it up, having a copy of your business card on hand is always a good idea. Odds are, if you’re job hunting anyway, you have plenty to spare. If not, have at least 100 printed. Online printing services offer quality business cards that you can personalize with shape and size to help you stand out. This is an easy and economical way to get the word out about your skills and specialties. And, if you’re super business savvy, that QR code you had printed on your card leads right to the landing page of your online resume.

A business card for job hunting should vary a bit from the one you give out to potential clients. This card lists your contact information, skills, specialties and the opportunity for employers to get to know you a little better.

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