The Little Things That Matter in an Interview

I was catching up with a close friend of mine who works in recruiting for retail, marketing and public relations with luxury brands over drinks last week when the topic turned to a few recent interviews she’s conducted.   She was incredibly disappointed by almost all of them, especially since her interviewees were recent graduates who she figured would be desperate for the jobs she was looking to fill.   When I pried a bit more to learn what exactly set the interviews off, the issues ranged from large problems (“He didn’t ask any questions about the company!”) to tiny, important details (“She dressed like she literally just ran from Econ 101″).

Not to add any pressure to those interviewing this summer for entry level jobs, but it is also so important to remember the little things while prepping yourself for an interview.   While being yourself is numero uno, if you keep these points in mind as you present yourself to your future employer you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

Watch what you wear – I’m not talking outfit choices, but quality of the clothing you put on.   Your heels may be Prada, but if the lifts are worn down and you make an awful clacking sound while you walk, or your purse looks like it went through the washing machine, unfortunately you will be judged.   Worry less about making a statement with a brand or style, and more about clean, crisp looks that show off you at your best.

Body language speaks VOLUMES – If you’re slumped in your chair, preening yourself, unable to make eye contact or talk too quietly/mumble, you’re giving off the impression that you don’t care to be at the interview.   A few nervous ticks are all right, everyone has been there!   Be sure you’re sitting up straight and answering each question clearly.   And don’t forget to SMILE! Which leads me to…

Make it a conversation – This is toeing the line of being too casual, but all my best interviews were those where my interviewee turned our meeting into a smart conversation about the open position and my company.   As interviewers, we get tired of the same old Q&A and want to learn more about you!   Show how you can fit into almost any social situation.   If you’re shy, try to find a topic in the interview your passionate on and show off what you know.

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