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Be prepared and get organised

Personal presentation

First impressions last, there is often no second chance. The way you present yourself, your character, how you look, the language you use, the way you greet the person and the way you talk will all be judged by your prospective employer.

How you speak
Think about how you come across. Are you being confident or arrogant? Are you surly or too quiet and timid? Do you speak clearly or do you mumble? Most employers are looking for a person who speaks politely and confidently.

What you say
Your choice of words is vital, do not use slang or swear at all. Answer questions clearly and honestly and don't waffle. Be aware of what you're saying, who you're saying it to and therefore the message that might be conveyed.

Body language
Be aware of the messages you are communicating by the way you stand, greet a person and generally hold yourself. Stand confidently, shake the hand of the person interviewing you and sit comfortably rather than slouching.

Cultural sensitivities
It is important you look the person interviewing you in the eye and maintain that eye contact while you talk with them. This shows you have confidence and respect them. However, many people within different cultures have different beliefs. People of indigenous cultures do not make direct eye contact, be aware of these sensitivities and they will be greatly appreciated as a mark of respect for that person.

What we wear
Think carefully about what clothing to wear. Dress according to the type of job you are applying for. If it is a gardening job you are applying for, don’t go dressed in a tuxedo. But if the job is with an up-market clothing boutique, your favourite tracksuit won’t be the best choice either! The basic rule is to be smart and dress appropriately for the position for which you are applying. Try to see things from the employer's point of view.

If you have body piercings, just be aware that a more conservative employer may not like that stud through your tongue or brow. It is advisable to take out visible body piercings and if you gain the position, then you can check with the employer if it is OK for you to wear piercings/personal jewellery.

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