The “IT” Factor — at an Interview

We all know it when we see it– We call it the “it factor.” “Wow, she’s definitely got it.” But what in the world is “it” and how do you get it?

“It” is the way you present yourself to the world. If you come in with your head hanging low and mumbling to your shoes, people think you lack confidence. If you come in with your head up high and interrupt at any chance you get, people think you are arrogant. So, how do you find that middle balance? How do you present your “it” at an interview?

  1. Be true to yourself. Know yourself and be honest with yourself about who you are. Those who have “it” don’t want to be anything other than them. They believe in themselves, they established a brand for who they are, and that is how they come off to people.
  2. Be intentional. What is it that you are trying to accomplish? If you’re trying to accomplish in getting a job, then you have to act like it. Speaking low or interrupting others does not convey that you want a job.
  3. Watch your pitch and tone. Make sure that you are speaking at the appropriate pitch and tone for the individual. You want to convey sincerity in your answers.
  4. Mind your body language. Sit straight, but don’t be too stiff. Shoulders should be positioned back a little and your chest should be out, to convey an image of confidence. Be sure you do not cross your arms at any point or get too comfortable and slouch back on the chair.
  5. Gain their trust. You want to make a good connection with person interviewing you. Sometimes we tend to forget that the interviewers are just as human as we are.
    • Smile, often and sincerely
    • Use their name when answering questions
    • Use your active listening skills and try to use key words in your answer back to the individual
  6. Wear clothes one step higher than the position you are interviewing for. If the organization is business casual, you wear a suit. If it’s casual, you wear business casual attire. If it’s jeans and work boots, you wear slacks and a polo. Present an outside image that conveys you are serious about the position and you respect their time. (P.S. Make sure everything is ALWAYS tucked in and no cleavage showing)

What were some of your best and worst dressed experiences? Have you ever had a wardrobe emergency, and how did you get over it?

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