Personal Presentation at Interview

Written by Julie Holmwood

You got the interview; I knew you would! So time to start making your preparations

First things first. What are you going to wear and how are you going to look?
Someone once told me that there is no such thing as over dressed; just better dressed. Never has this been so true as when you are attending an interview. A suit is always the answer no matter how the employees dress for their regular work day. When you are an employee you too can dress like them. In the meantime you are making a good first impression for which you have one chance and one chance only. You want to make it count.
The obvious things are to get your suit dry-cleaned. Polish your shoes and tidy and polish your briefcase or handbag. Make sure your shirt and tie, or your blouse, are clean and ironed. Less obviously make sure your hair is clean and tidy; if you are due for a cut go and have one as part of your interview preparation. Give yourself a manicure and if you do paint your nails then clear or neutral polish only (this way if you do get a chip on route to your meeting it isn’t going to stand out like the proverbial sore thumb). For those of you that wear make-up less is more. Make sure you smell fresh, try to avoid garlic the day before and double check your overall appearance, including your teeth, before you go in.

Now, what are you going to take with you?

  • A copy of your CV. If there are two interviewers take three copies; one for each of them and one for yourself so that you can refer to dates and figures where need be
  • A pen and a blank sheet of paper (or notebook) so that you can take notes on anything important that you discuss; hopefully you will be writing down the date of your next interview
  • Tissues if you have a cold or it is hayfever season
  • Change if their offices are in town and you need to pay and display for your parking
  • A map or directions of how to get there with the time, name of the interviewer(s) and building you are to meet in if the Company have multiple buildings on one site
  • If the role asks for you to have certificates in things like first aid then take these too.

The general tip is that you and everything you have with you should look clean and tidy

  • NO dog ears on the edges of your CV
  • NO three things falling on the floor when you try to find a pen.
  • NOW research the journey. How long is it going to take, do you know exactly where you are going, have you factored in a buffer of time to allow you some breathing space; better to be early than arrive flustered and out of breath. Not because there is anything wrong with being out of breath, but have you ever tried to focus and concentrate when you’re flustered?
So, you are ready. You got there on time and presented yourself at the right reception desk ten minutes early. You are signed in, have your name tag and are sat in reception.
  • Pick up a company brochure; it makes you look interested even if you are thinking about the meeting rather than reading it.
  • Switch off your phone and wait for them to come and get you
  • Breath … think good thoughts … relax …
Tomorrow we are going to talk about the power of positive intention. See you there!
Julie is the Lead Career Coach at Churchill Brook. She works with clients who are frustrated by their career success (or lack of it) and her approach is that of part coach, part mentor and part consultant. She is available to work with limited clients on a one-to-one basis or via our popular career change group classes (check out ‘what we offer’).

Before joining Churchill Brook in 2009, she spent twelve years as an international headhunter, where she successfully helped her clients to recruit exceptional people. She is an expert at getting candidates noticed by companies and had one of the highest success ratios for CV submission to hire that we know of within the recruitment industry

AuthorsTalk to her on Facebook,      Twitter and LinkedIn

Another article you might enjoy about dressing for your interview

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