One of the great sad truths of life is that looks matter, even in ‘professional’ situations such as job interviews. In this piece, we give you six ways to look your absolute best at an interview. While we cannot control the way our features are shaped, we can always choose to present them in the best way.
We’ve all seen the studies that claim that physically attractive people are more likely to land jobs more easily. But what if we told you that real beauty was within, that while none of us can change our genes, we can all maximise what we have? Also, as much of a cliché it is, real beauty is on the inside, and if you can put the following six tips in mind when you go to your next interview, you will give yourself the best chance of success.
1. Make eye contact with your interviewer.
Look your interviewer in the eye when you talk to him and answer his questions. A firm handshake is also important, and it signals confidence. Eye contact shows interest and an ability to lead, which are both as important as your hard skills.
2. Smile more
No matter how drab you think your smile is, chances are that people around you love to see you smile, especially if you practice the warm and inviting variety, as opposed to the obnoxious, goofy type. Smiling also relaxes you and makes you more confident, in addition to showing your interviewer that you’re interested in the job.
3. Do your research
There is no worse answer to ‘What do you know about our company?’ than ‘Nothing’. Make sure that you research the company for at least half an hour the evening before your interview. Keep in mind two or three salient points that you can talk about at short notice. If you want to go the extra mile, research the interviewer as well, if possible, and try to connect with their personal attributes. If you take an interest in your interviewer’s life, it can take the heat off the interview, and it will soon become a conversation.
4. Mind your body language
Remember that we give away more visual cues than verbal cues. Try to catch on to what your interviewer’s body language is telling you, and try to mirror it. As human beings, we all like people who look and behave like we do, because it’s a non-verbal way of saying, ‘I like you.’
5. Listen actively
Active listening is a technique by which the listener gives feedback to the speaker by asking questions and making comments on what he’s hearing. In an interview, instead of just smiling and nodding at what your interviewer is saying, ask questions and treat it like a conversation. This will give your interviewer a good insight into your negotiation and listening skills, which are very important in any job.
6. Improve your posture
Standing and sitting tall can make you look more attractive and confident. Study your posture in the mirror, and fix a standing slouch by focusing on keeping your ears over your shoulders, chest squared open, chin up, and stomach tucked in. If you cannot do this by practising in front of the mirror, sign up for a yoga or a Pilates class.