By Carole Martin

When you get off on the right foot the interview will flow easily. This is one impression you cannot leave to chance.

1. Appearance counts. When you look good, you feel good. Make sure you look groomed and neat. If you were a book, would someone be attracted to your “cover” and want to pursue you further?

2. Your clothes and accessories should be conservative and neutral, rather than wild and loud. Your clothes are your packaging and should not take attention away from the product.

3. Non-Verbal Communication sometimes conveys a stronger message than verbal communication. When you slouch, whether you’re sitting or standing, you are saying volumes about you and your confidence level. Sit up straight (like your mother always told you to). When you stand make yourself as tall as possible ¬ shoulders back and head held high.

4. Eye contact and smiles can indicate a confident and upbeat attitude. You will notice that many job postings ask for “enthusiasm and energy.” This is a good opportunity to demonstrate your social and interpersonal skills, as well as your excitement about the opportunity you are interviewing for.

5. The handshake sends a strong tactile message. If you have particularly sweaty hands try using a deodorant gel (anti-perspirant) as a lotion. Your hands will feel soft and smell good. Try this before the interview to see if it works for you.

6. Your voice and the volume of your speech convey a strong impression. Whether it is a phone interview or a face-to-face interview, it is important that you speak with enthusiasm and energy. Use a firm voice to demonstrate your confidence. If you speak in low tones the impact will be weak and ineffective.

7. Your vocabulary reveals your communication skills and ability to interface with people especially people you’ve not met before. The words you choose will indicate your education and training, as well as your knowledge of the industry you are applying for. It is important to use “their” words and talk “their” talk.

Practice the impression you are making with someone you trust to give you objective feedback. You are at the interview to make a sale an important sale and the product you are selling is YOU.