A smile can say so much about you. It can communicate warmth and openness, but it can also convey the wrong message. The saying is “eyes are the gateway to the soul,” but it can be said that the smile is the open/closed sign hanging above the gate. Now that most interviews are happening online, your smile is even more important because instead of the interviewer seeing you from four feet away, they are going to be up close and personal in their view via the camera. How can you ensure your smile is communicating what you want in a job interview or on a Zoom meeting?
When job searching, it is important to put your best foot forward, come across approachable, nice, and open to opportunities. Start by checking your smile and your entire face in the mirror before getting on that Zoom interview.
Smile Tips For Interviews
What do you see?
Are your teeth clean? Be sure to always brush and floss before heading to an interview.
What color are your teeth?
Discolorations can cause someone to shirk away from you. If you see that your teeth are discolored and yellowing from all of the coffee, red wine, and soft drinks consumed, you may want to consider a tooth whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, or professional teeth whitening in a dentist’s office.
Don’t forget your hair
Is it clean and neatly styled? No one expects perfection, but you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed.
Facial hair matters too
Your beard and mustache should be clean and neatly trimmed.
Make-up neatly applied
If you wear make-up, make sure it is neatly applied and not overdone. You want to only use make-up to enhance your natural beauty.
Yes, you are just on Zoom, but you still need to appear professional. It is best to wear a solid color near your face and the color should be one that flatters you. A pattern draws attention away from your face, so stick with a solid. It can be a scarf, shirt, sweater, or tie.
If there is any chance you will need to move at all during the interview, you might want to make sure you have appropriate attire on your bottom half as well. You don’t want to jump up and show your underwear, PJs, or stained sweats.
Meeting In Person
If you are meeting in person, there are three additional personal hygiene items to be concerned with.
What do you smell?
Cup your hand and do a “breath check”. Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, some of which indicate gum disease and other issues within our mouths that need the attention of a dentist. Bad breath will kill an interview faster than you can say, “excuse me”. An interviewer would prefer to end the interview quickly and get you the heck out of there than offer you a mint. After all of your hard work and interview preparations, don’t allow bad breath to prevent you from moving forward in the interviewing process.
If meeting in person you will be shaking hands and perhaps moving your hands around as you talk. Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are clean and trimmed.
What is that scent?
If you desire to wear cologne or perfume, use it lightly. You don’t want the perfume or cologne to be overpowering. Remember some people have allergies to scents.
You can find other tips for Zoom etiquette for meetings here.
A strong job search strategy will open interviewing doors for you, and a smile that looks great, is warm, and communicates that you are approachable, will keep you on the screen for a Zoom interview or in the seat in the interviewer’s office.
Do You Need Help?
If you need help updating your resume, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.