This time of year, I love the joy of wrapping presents.  Yes, the gift takes center stage, but the packaging adds to the delight and anticipation.   It is wonderful to see the enchantment of a friend or loved one, as they behold the beauty of paper and ribbon, and contemplate the treasure within. It is the same with a job interview.

Your qualifications and experience got you in the door, and now is the time to delight.  How you present yourself is the gift wrap as you reveal your treasure within.  Good manners are the ribbon of confidence that holds everything together.  Stand or sit up straight; make eye contact with the interviewer and smile.  Shake his or her hand, and reply respectfully using “Sir” or “Ma’am”.

Your appearance is the paper wrapping the much-anticipated gift.  Wear clothing appropriate to the position for which you are interviewing, keeping in mind that T-shirts, flip flops, and ill-fitting clothing are never appropriate.  Women should never wear clothing too tight or low cut.  Men should wear pants that cover, shoes, and socks.  Make sure your breath is fresh, but don’t chew gum.  Be clean and smell good, not like smoke, or too much perfume.

With the wrapping in good order, take center stage.  Be prepared so you can answer questions confidently during the interview.  Review your resume or application just prior to the interview so the details are fresh on your mind.  Think of questions that might be asked and have answers ready.  Never, ever respond with untruths.  Delight the interviewer and create a good experience.

Be the gift employers want all year long, wrapped confidently and appropriately.