African American Businesswoman Offering Handshake - IsolatedIt’s that time of year again when newly-minted college graduates are hitting the pavement in search of that career-launching job.  This year’s outlook for graduating seniors is showing slight improvement over last year, but there’s still every reason to stack the deck in favor of success.

Many job hunting techniques have changed over the years, but the job interview is a place where tradition still plays a strong role.

To ace an interview, here are a few pointers to keep in mind whether you’re looking for your first job or interviewing to take that next career leap forward.

When you’re about to sit across the desk from an interviewer:

  • Show up early.  Never keep the interviewer waiting.
  • Dress appropriately.  Google “business dress” for good ideas and helpful visual images.
  • Turn off anything that beeps, buzzes or rings to avoid distraction.
  • Use your best communication skills – verbal and nonverbal.  Avoid the use of slang or casual expressions common to relaxed conversation with friends.  You’re not chatting with a friend, no matter how comfortable the conversation may feel.  Your image and assumed competence as a professional is being evaluated.
  • Make eye contact. Sit up straight.  Smile.
  • Sell yourself, highlighting your talents and skills, as well as, your like-ability.

And note, dressing for success goes beyond the interview.  Etiquette expert Barbara Pachter makes some great points in her article, “Did You Dress to Impress or Fool Your Future Employer?”

And take a look at the job hunting tips I offered to last year’s job searchers.  They still hold true.

Good luck!

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