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Tips for Appearing Professional During Your Job Interview

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

When you’re interviewing for a new job, you never know what little thing you do or say will make you stand out among the competition. As you’re preparing to head off for that interview you finally nabbed, you’re bound to have some anxiety that they’ll find you appealing. Preparation is key to appearing professional and like the perfect candidate for the job. Here are a few ways to make sure you head into the interview showing you have it all together.

How to prepare. Basically, take the few days before your interview to make sure you’re prepared for anything an interviewer might throw at you. At the very least, print extra copies of your resumes and a sheet of references in case you’re asked for them. Research the company online so you know all the ins and outs of their owners and their mission statement. See if you can find out what format the interview will be in and practice. For example, if you have a video interview, set up your camera in an uncluttered area of your home and try to have great lighting for your conversation.

How to dress. Whether your interview is in person or online, put effort into your appearance. Some companies don’t put much emphasis on dressing formally for an interview, but always be well groomed and at least dressed business casual. A day or two before, plan your outfit so that you think through what will look best. Some people suggest wearing something brightly-colored (like a scarf, tie or earrings), so that the interviewer will remember you.

How to show both hard skills and soft skills. Always be ready to talk about what you bring to the table. You can do this by having stories ready to go of challenges that you’ve overcome at work and in life. Also, be ready to talk about your hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are more tangible like knowing additional languages, software skills and your computer background. Soft skills are less tangible such as being a team player, communicating effectively or demonstrating you’re a good leader.

One quality makes you stand out—from applying to be a lifeguard to the CEO of an organization, and that’s appearing to be professional. It shows a potential employer that you’ve planned ahead and actually care about getting the job. These are qualities a company wants you to exhibit once you are in the position, so it’s why they look for these traits during an interview. Try these simple tips to show you are the right person for the job.

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