How to Make a Winning First Impression at a Job Interview
To make the best possible impression in your job interview, it is essential to
project an air of self-confidence. Which can be easier than you think!
Even in the 21st Century, women have to go the extra mile to get a good job.
Of course it's important to have experience, education, skills, and an
effective résumé, and there are plenty of books, websites, and services to
help you with that; just search
Google and you will see... well, millions of them! But
a good résumé and cover letter are only half the battle.
The job interview is where they rule you in or out. First
impressions count for everything. And in this, women have a secret
advantage. After all, there is not much men can do to change their
appearance. They just shave and put on an uncomfortable suit and tie and
shiny shoes, and often this only makes them feel awkward and self-conscious.
But a woman has unlimited possibilities!
I would just like to point out that there is something every woman
can do to impress the interviewer the very instant she comes into view:
Create a Look that projects confidence, competance, and attention to detail,
but without trying to disguise yourself as somebody you are not: A Look that
shows you know how to take care of business and take care of
- Dress well. It goes without saying,
but I'll say it anyway: whatever you choose to wear, make sure it is new or
looks new, that it fits well, that it doesn't look like you bought it at the
99¢ store (even if you did!), that it's clean, not wrinkled and doesn't have
hairs on it.
- Wear heels. There are different
schools of thought about this, but I can tell you this: when they see that
you can walk naturally and confidently in high heels without hesitating,
wobbling, or stumbling, you project an air of competence and authority that
will impress just about anybody! And it doesn't hurt that a pair of (say)
five-inch heels makes you a lot taller. Height matters, trust me.
That's why we say we “look up to” people we respect.
- Do your nails. There are
schools of thought about this too, but an elegant and microscopically
perfect professional manicure shows that you respect yourself, that you
care about your appearance, and that you care about the details in life.
This is not only impressive but it lets them know that you will do quality
work (and just imagine if you came in with ragged, bitten-off nails!).
Furthermore, if your nails are long, that shows that you have another set of
skills that most people lack, and this adds to the air of competence you
project. A subdued solid color or a traditional pink-and-white French
manicure is best for an interview.
- Do your hair. If necessary, go to the beauty salon. Well-kept hair worn
in a style that highlights your features is another sign of competence and
attention to detail, and that you respect yourself and others as well. A
person with messy hair is more likely to be seen by interviewer as one who
will do messy work and not get along with co-workers.
- Wear makeup. It is amazing what the
skillful applicion of cosmetics can accomplish. When your makeup is
exquisite, subtle, and impeccable, people are... how can I express it
without saying “impressed” again? Well, they are! It adds to
the impression that you are skillful and competent in everything you do.
But more than that, makeup is a kind of art, it is a way to create an image
that is pleasing to the eye. If this were not true, cosmetics would not be
a 170 billion dollar-a-year industry with a 5000-year tradition. Women do
not spend that kind of money on something that doesn't do anything for them!
Beauty makes people feel good, it really does. That includes you and those
who see you. People simply like to be in the presence of beauty, and makeup
adds an extra facet to your beauty.
- Wear perfume. Not a lot, just a
touch, a subtle fragrance. And it should be a very fine daytime scent, not
something from the drugstore; something that agrees with your body
chemistry and that makes you feel elegant. This adds a whole new dimension
to your aura and it makes you feel better too.
And so, before anybody has said a word, your head-to-toe Look has
already said more about you than any words can say: that you are
competent and self-confident; that you respect yourself, you respect others,
and you are worthy of respect; and that you are a person with skills who
pays attention to detail. You don't have to say these things, which
would be awkward; they are self-evident. And thus, having already impressed
the interviewer with your character and qualties, the inteveriew can
concentrate on your experience, skills, and qualifications.
If you have trouble with your self-confidence, practice first.
Create some trial Looks for yourself and then experiment by going out and
interacting with people — strangers, acquaintances, friends — to
get a feel for what to expect and also to perfect the art of walking well in
high heels (also check this page). If your
Look is all that it should be, people's reactions will make you feel very
good about yourself (read more about this here), and this will boost your confidence and
increase your beauty and even your posture!
And then you will know you are ready for your interview. And when you
arrive and are presented to the interviewer, make a strong, memorable
entrance: walk tall, proud, glowing with confidence in yourself and not
scared of anything! For a little extra inspiration, I suggest you read the
advice of María Montez to her little
sister Lucita, who was thinking of following her big sister into show business:
“The first thing a young lady should do for being an actress is to
believe she is the most beautiful and important of all the women who live on
Earth. In other words, behave as if you were a queen. Do not be afraid in
front of any of the directors, not even how exigent and ill-tempered they
could look to you.”
And one more hint: If you have pages on social networking sites like
Facebook, Twitter, or other Internet sites, be careful what you put on
them because they will be Googling you!