No matter how employers respond after your interview—by saying no, making you an offer, or saying nothing at all—there are a few things they will never, ever tell you. And even though they're holding their thoughts to themselves, these opinions can no doubt effect your chances of getting hired. So what are these unspoken impressions? Read on and find out.
Employers expect you to look sharp when you step into an interview, since a little attention to detail can demonstrate that you're a respectable citizen. A suit is always a safe bet, but these days, it's also acceptable to wear a professional dress, a skirt-blouse combination, or a buttoned shirt, tie, and pair of pressed slacks.
But if your clothing, shoes, hairstyle, tattoos, jewelry, breath, posture, or make-up are not pleasing to your employer, don't expect to be told. Even one offhand remark about your appearance can spell trouble for the company, so if you show up in shorts and haven't showered for a week, you won't hear a single negative word.
To find out if you're on the right track, pay attention to non-verbal cues. Notice where your interviewer's eyes rest when she first meets you. Does her gaze linger a little too long on your hat? (Hint: you should not be wearing a hat.) Does she glance at your scuffed shoes? (Your shoes should be neat and polished—men, take note.) Make any necessary adjustments before your next interview. Don't commit the same fashion mistake twice.
If you believe you're overqualified for the job, or you plan to use the position as a short-term stepping stone to something better, you may not be hiding this as well as you think. And if it shows, no one will tell you.
Be extra careful with your attitude and presentation if there's something—anything—in your heart that you're trying to conceal. You may be certain this job is yours to lose. You may be inwardly laughing at your interviewer's comb-over. You may find it hard on your ego that your interviewer is far younger than you. But if these things are showing (and they probably are), your interviewers won't tell you. They'll only reveal this in glances, facial expressions, and conversational pauses.
Tune in, and if your attitude is holding you back, get it fixed.
If you're nervous, calm, collected, scattered, anxious, or cool as a cucumber, this will show. But nobody will comment on it. So tune in to subtle forms of feedback. If your interviewer starts speaking in a very gentle and reassuring way, for example, it may be time to gather your courage and sit up straight. If he lowers his voice and slows his speech, it may be because you're involuntarily raising your voice and speeding up. If your interviewer's eyes keep moving to the paper clip you're fiddling with, it's time to put the paper clip down. In any case, pay attention, and don't expect to be coached.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The best way to iron out your interview presentation starts with one word: Practice. Sit down with a friend and work on common interview questions before you step into the office. In the meantime, you'll have more interviews to work with if you're submitting a strong and effective resume. Visit MyPerfectResume to quickly build a resume and land more interviews.