So you are finally ready to get back into the work field. You submitted your resume, got a call back and now what? Nervous about the interview? Maybe you can’t decide what to wear? By the end of this article you should feel confident and ready to nail that interview.

They say first impressions last forever, and I am here to tell you, they were right. If you want to make a great first impression, there are a couple things you need to know.

1. Walk into that room with as much confidence as you can.
2. Make eye contact.
3. Reach your hand out first to shake your potential employer’s hand.
4. Clothing is everything.

Let’s talk interview appropriate attire. The first thing your eyes are attracted to is color. So choosing the right dominant color for your outfit plays an important role on setting the tone for your interview. First rule: Black should never be your predominate color. If all you own are black slacks, pair them with a pop of color.

Here are some basic color guidelines:


If you are interviewing for a sales position, you need power colors for your dominate color. These colors let your potential employer know you are a leader and can drive their business to success.

Job interview Sales
    • Here are some great power colors:

 

  • You will want to pair power colors with contrasting colors like:

 

If you are interviewing for a hospitality department position, I recommend you choose earth tones as your dominant color. These colors give a very comforting feel, which is what you are aiming for.

Work Attire
  • A few great earth tones:

 

  • You will want to pair them with contrasting colors like:

 

Now let’s not only ace that interview, let’s get hired!

Do your research: Make sure you not only know about the company you are interviewing with, but the industry as well. Not only will this make you sound intelligent, but you want to make sure this is really a company you can see yourself working at.

Be prepared: Bring a couple copies of your resume. You cannot assume the interviewer has a copy on hand.

Don’t be late! This one is self-explanatory. You should always be five to 10 minutes early to an interview. If you are not familiar with the area, take a drive there a day or two before.

Be confident: Sit up straight and talk clearly. Confidence is everything. If you believe in yourself, they will too.

Maintain eye contact: We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again. Eye contact is important. It lets the interviewer know you are paying attention and respect what they are saying.

Let them know why they need you: Your resume can only take you so far. You need to really make them believe you are indeed the perfect candidate for their position. Describe the values you have and why you think they are important to the job. Talk about the problems they may be facing in tough economic times and how you are the right person to solve them.

Be passionate: Passion for the industry can take you far. I have known employers to hire candidates who are less qualified than others based on their passion alone.

Ask questions: This plays into “Do your research.” Ask questions related to the company and the industry. Let them know you are interested and want to learn more about their company.

Send a thank-you note: Always follow up with a thank-you note. Reiterate your interest in the company and mention something specific that was discussed. If you interviewed with multiple people, send one to each person.

This may be a lot to take in, but at the end of the day, just be yourself and have fun!