Know what style of dress – uniformed, smart casual or corporate – is appropriate for the job you want. If in doubt, err on the side of business style rather than under-dress.
“You need to appear in moderate dress,” says Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) chairman, Peter Wilson. “You can always correct an overdress but you can’t correct for an underdress.”
Show your passion. If you have great ideas but hide your enthusiasm with stiff body language, other people won’t believe your ideas.
“Don’t be afraid to gesture as it shows that you’re enthusiastic and expressive,” says McNeill. “The interviewer can read how open and honest you are by looking at your hands.”
Smile, but keep it natural
“A smile is one of the very best ways to communicate sincerity and a friendly, approachable demeanour,” says McNeill.
Wilson suggests sitting as you would in a yoga class. “Sitting calmly and upright,” he says. Sitting too far forward looks too eager while slouching makes you look disinterested.
Use props, like water
If they offer a drink, take it as it will convey that you are confident and relaxed. “It can also be used as a prop to perhaps give you some time to answer a difficult question”, says McNeill.
It's all in the eyes
“Make eye contact, but don’t stare,” says Wilson. Staring for an extended period can make your interviewer uncomfortable so simply hold their gaze for a second longer before breaking away.
Keep an open posture
“Don’t cross your arms or hide your hands as it can make you look defensive or uncomfortable,” says McNeill. Keep them open and resting lightly in your lap.
“Don’t play with change in your pocket, bite your nails or let your leg become restless or the interviewer will sense that you feel uneasy,” says McNeill.
“Avoid touching your face and hair as it’s considered a stress comfort cue,” says McNeill.
Nerves are normal
If you’re a little nervous, don’t worry. It’s expected. “Most employers recognise that you’re going to be a little on edge because you want to do your best,” says Wilson. Remember to slow down. If you need to take a moment, take it. It’s important to be in control rather than letting yourself ramble.
Remember: Practice makes perfect. McNeill recommends that you practice entering and leaving a room and how you will say hello and goodbye to the interviewer. Before the interview, practice different poses in front of a mirror. Good luck!
Text: Bauer/Australian Women’s Weekly