Interview Tips – Back to Basics

By Natalie Churchill, Sales and Staffing Specialist for Gateway Group Personnel


These tips are simple, but can often be overlooked when a candidate is gearing up for an interview. You’ve likely spent time researching the company, practicing interview questions, and studying the job description. However, don’t let a simple oversight be the deciding factor between you and another candidate – keep these three tips in mind to further showcase your professionalism and seriousness to your potential employer.

Dress to Impress – What NOT to Wear

What you wear will give off a certain impression about your professionalism (or lack thereof) before you even open your mouth. Now is not the time to wear your low-cut blouse, jeans or flip flops. Instead, wear the tried and true tailored suit, conservative accessories, and well-groomed hair. Just say no to the perfume and cologne as well. You never know if the interviewer has an allergy or simply can’t breathe because your perfume is so strong.  You don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by what you’re wearing and not hearing what you’re saying. This is your first impression, don’t make it a bad one!

Be on Time…or Early

Showing up a few minutes early is definitely an easy way to start your interview off on the right foot.  It’s a good idea to arrive about ten minutes before the scheduled time. It gives you a few minutes to compose yourself before the interviewer comes to greet you in the lobby. Make sure to greet the receptionist with a warm smile and introduction. You never know who could be listening or what input they could give the decision maker. Take time the day before your interview to map out the best route. Whatever you do, don’t be late - plan ahead!

Body Language – It says a lot

Make sure your body language reflects how you feel and what you are saying.  Poor eye contact and a weak handshake display that you are not confident. Crossed-arms express that you are shy or not interested. Avoid fidgeting with your hair or tapping your foot as this could show that you are nervous or anxious. Don’t give the interviewer the impression that you are not equipped for the job because of bad body language.  

Looking for other interview tips? Mashable offers several ideas here. Or connect with us offline – we’re happy to help with pointers and suggestions.


Natalie Churchill joined Gateway Group in 2014 as a Sales and Staffing Specialist. With a background in non-profit and customer service, Natalie successfully matches candidates with exciting careers due to her understanding and passion for helping others. Learn more about Natalie’s background here.

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When I was preparing to interview for a promotion Garen provided specific preparation tactics to ensure I nailed the interview.  Rather than the regular "run of the mill" interview advice, Garen helped me develop a strategy to attack the interview and get the job.

- Paul L., Director in Strategy Planning & Analysis (SPA)

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