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"Abby has led seminars on effective job search techniques, teaching professionals in transition how to find their vision, focus their energies, and be effective in the job search process. Her group reviews were highly acclaimed. Motivating, inspiring, insightful."
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A Breath of Fresh Air Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Everyone is reminded time and time again about interview preparation which includes bringing in the perfect resume on the perfect bond paper with the perfect grammar. But there is one little detail that career coaches may forget to remind you which you ABSOLUTELY must take into consideration.

Back in the days of yore when I was interviewing candidates galore (rhyme intended), I interviewed one applicant who left a strong impression on me...

I was searching for an accountant and finally had the perfect candidate's resume lying on my desk. All I needed was to meet this candidate, let's call him John, and the score would be 1-0 in my favor. Finally, the clock struck one o'clock and John was in the lobby. When I went out to greet him, I quickly learned something about John within the first 3 seconds – it was apparent that he had eaten an onion sandwich for lunch. Throughout the interview it was hard to concentrate on John's words as I kept being reminded of his recent meal. If only I would have kept the noseplugs I wore when I first learned to swim in my desk, as they would have come in handy.

As much as your words and body language are being evaluated during an interview, your professional appearance and hygiene is also on display and must be in tip-top shape. If this was a once-in-a-career event I wouldn't bother mentioning this to you, but this seemingly small error has crinkled my nose time and time again. Always, always, always, carry mints or gum in your pocket, especially when you are in job search mode. Five minutes before you expect to start talking to anyone, including the receptionist, pop one of them into your mouth (and finish it before you start talking). Here are some reminders on other things you can do to be sure you are making a good first impression.

1) Definitely opt for wearing a suit regardless of the company's dress code. You do not need to have the most expensive suit in order to impress a recruiter. A clean, pressed, and well-fitting suit will suffice. Be sure to check your clothes for holes, dirt, wrinkles, and stains and remember to shine your shoes.

2) Women: your nails do not have to be manicured but if they are, choose a pastel color. Your interviewer should be focused on you, and not on your fingernails. Women and men, make sure that you have clean fingernails as well.

3) You can certainly wear jewelry but it should not be flashy. Leave your tongue rings at home unless you would not consider working for a company that does not allow you to wear one. Also leave your baseball cap and sun glasses at home.

4) Your hair should be neat and professional and women who choose to wear makeup should be sure that it's subtle and unassuming. Also, do not go overboard on the perfume or cologne – your interviewer may be overwhelmed by it, or worse, allergic to it or.

5) Carrying a nice briefcase or portfolio portrays a much more professional image to your interviewer or networking buddy. Carrying this simple prop can also be a nice confidence booster. Remember to clean out all of the piles of papers from your last few interviews so that you appear to be organized.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Top notch interview skills and a strong resume are absolute requirements for a successful job search. As important as it is to prep for your interview by dotting your i's and crossing your t's on your resume, it is critical that your devote the same amount of time to perfecting your professional appearance. Once you do that, you will become a breath of fresh air!
 
  • Tired of all the rejection? If you're interested in learning the Absolute truth about why you're struggling, sign up for a one hour "Capture a Recruiter" phone session today. Reach out to me today with any questions and for an absolutely amazing discount coupon!

Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!