By Julian Patterson
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If you are a senior, you are probably scrambling to find a job or applying to grad school so you aren’t assed out come graduation. Here are some simple things you can do to help land your dream job or get you into your first choice.
They say you can tell a lot by a person’s handshake. Too soft and you’re considered weak, but too firm might come off as a bit aggressive. A good handshake isn’t the be all and end all, but it is a little subtlety that doesn’t go unnoticed. A good handshake conveys confidence and poise. And remember: confidence is key.
Make Eye Contact
Eye contact is extremely important, especially in a two-person conversation. Failing to make eye contact is an egregious error, but wandering eyes can also be extremely detrimental. Be sure to keep focused and remain engaged throughout the whole conversation. Otherwise, you might come off as aloof and uninterested. No one will hire someone who A) looks like they have nothing going for them, or B) looks like they have better things to do. Make enough eye contact to get your point across, but not too much so that you come off as a total creep.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Yes, it might be the most important interview of your life, but there is no need to add to the stress by taking yourself too seriously. You run into trouble when you micro manage and try to control every little detail. Be comfortable in your own skin! If not, your nervous energy will certainly show in your speech and body language. If you’re cracking under the pressure halfway through the interview, how do you expect to land the job?
Smiling is a great option in most situations in life. It is the best way express interest and enthusiasm. No one wants to try to make conversation with a lifeless corpse. Even if you’re not big into smiling, it adds that little bit extra je ne sais quoi to your dry personality. A smile can often times be one of the more memorable things about a person. Don’t be afraid to try it!
How many times have you met somebody and immediately after shaking their hand forgotten their name? It happens all the time and can come back to haunt you if it happens at an important interview. Remember the name of the person interviewing you. It adds a personable touch to the conversation that makes it seem like you’re talking to an old friend rather than a person who holds your future in his or her hands.
Dress to Impress
As a rule of thumb it’s better to arrive dressed up rather than dressed down. You can always take off your tie or lose the blazer if you are a little bit overdressed for the occasion, but generally it’s better to show up with one than without one. You don’t want to be known as the guy who showed up in jeans and a polo when everybody else wore slacks and sport coats.
Easy on the Fragrance
Nobody wants to smell your cologne before they can see you. Guys are often guilty of this. There’s no need to bathe in your favorite fragrance. Apply it sparingly just before you walk out the door. Your scent will last for hours, so stop sniffing your armpits to see if you might need an extra spritz or two. You don’t want to overwhelm the person interviewing you with your musk. It’s not how you want to be remembered.
Keep it Simple
People have an annoying tendency to ramble on and on about frivolous details. So while you want to market yourself as the best available candidate, you don’t want to bore the person interviewing you with a lengthy list of your accomplishments. Don’t use 10 words when three will do and avoid filler words such as “like” and “um.” You might come off as unsure of yourself, which can hurt your chance of getting hired.
“Fake it ‘Til You Make it.”
If you are trying to get your foot in the door somewhere, the best way to do so is blend in as best you can. Do your research ahead of time and use it to your advantage. The person interviewing you doesn’t know you are a starving college student with less than 20 dollars in your bank account. If you look the part and act the part, chances are you’ll get the part.