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How to Act and Dress for a Face to Face Job Interview

by Alejandro Russell, studioD

It is a joyous moment for any job seeker to finally get an invitation to attend a face-to-face interview from a prospective employer after sending out hundreds of job applications. This is an indication that you have the minimum requirements needed for the job. However, if you fail to impress the employer during the interview, you might lose your opportunity, despite having the right education and experience. An interview gives you a chance to demonstrate your expertise and convince the employer that you are the most suitable person for the position. You must prepare thoroughly for the interview and approach it in the right manner.

Know About the Company

Get to know your prospective employer by visiting the company’s website, which provides information on items such as the organization's mission, goals, services and products, location and employee benefits. You should also learn about the roles and duties of the position on offer. This will help you to answering common questions asked by employers, such as why you think you are the most suitable candidate for the position. You are more likely to impress the interviewer by appearing resourceful and knowledgeable about the organization.

Proper Behavior During the Interview

The interview panel starts judging you from the moment you enter the room. Walk straight with your head held high and stand until you are asked to sit down. Smile and give a firm handshake to each person in the room. Remember that your body language tells the interviewer about you, so maintain direct eye contact throughout the interview. Instead of folding your arms across your chest, place them casually on your lap. This makes you look accommodating and confident. To avoid looking nervous, do not use gestures or fidget while speaking. Speak in a soft but audible voice throughout the interview.

Dressing for the Interview

Your appearance plays a critical role in an interview. Your outfit must reflect your desired field of work and should adhere to the company's policies. For example, if you are interviewing for a personal banker position, wear a suit. If you are not sure about the company’s dress code, visit its premises and observe what most employees are wearing. It's also good to overdress a bit; dress for the position above the one you area applying for. Women should avoid wearing too much makeup and skimpy outfits. You hair must be neat and your nails well groomed. Women should choose a neutral nail polish color and trim excessively long nails. Keep away from perfumes or deodorants with a strong scent, because some individuals may be allergic or find this offensive.

Answering Questions

Speak coherently and slowly when responding to the interviewer's questions. Take a few seconds to think about the interview questions before giving your answers. Construct your answers so that they do sound rehearsed or from a script. If you do not understand the question, politely ask the interviewer for clarification. To increase the chances of getting the position, answer the questions concisely and don't go off on tangents.