In a job interview, it is critical that you properly introduce yourself to everyone in the room. Here are some tips to help you make a strong first impression.
Take an extra 30 minutes to get ready the morning of your interview to look your best. Choose clothing that fits the employer's work environment (formal, semiformal or casual) and properly groom yourself. Style hair plainly, and keep it away from your face. Nails should be clean and short. Splurge on a professional shoe shine.
Leave your house in plenty of time to arrive at least 15 minutes early for your interview. This way, you'll arrive with enough time to calm any jitters and recheck your appearance in a bathroom mirror.
Make sure you have fresh breath. Carry mints with you or chew gum until you arrive at the interview location. An age-old trick to combat bad breath is to chew parsley. Before brushing your teeth in the morning, eat a bunch of parsley. Chew it slowly and wash it down with water. Parsley is a natural odor-killer and it doesn't leave you with that tell-tale minty breath, which can also be offensive if it's too strong.
Stand and step forward to properly introduce yourself to a potential employer. Firmly shake hands, right hand only, even if you're left-handed.
Look your interviewer in the eye and introduce yourself. If it's a first meeting, use the interviewer's surname. For example, "Hello, Ms. Coleman. It's nice to meet you. I'm Jane"
Respond in kind to your interviewer's comments. If he or she says, "It's nice to meet you," then you should say, "Thank you. It's nice to meet you as well." Be polite, and your nerves will loosen up during the interview.
Do not sit until your interviewer has done so or asks you to take a seat.
Note your interviewer's body language. If he or she seems distracted or is fidgeting, lighten the atmosphere by telling an interesting but relevant story about your qualifications.
Never interrupt an interviewer. Wait until he or she completes a sentence or question before responding or asking a question of your own. If you don't understand a question or statement, ask the interviewer to explain or repeat it.
Never divulge personal information in a job interview. Under U.S. federal law, you don't have to answer questions regarding your sexual orientation, age, race, religion or marital status.