You may not believe this based on how boring your bosses can be, but it turns out the one thing potential employers want from job seekers more than anything isn’t experience, connections nor raw skill. (Though those are great, too, obviously.) What your future boss really wants? Personality.
That doesn’t mean you should necessarily let your freak flag fly all the way on a job interview. But it does mean you should convey that you’re more than a cute, smart woman in a power suit, and that you have a lot to offer not just the company, but also the workplace environment in general.
Here’s how to convey character without going overboard on a job interview.
Use your body language.
Look people in the eye. Sit up straight. Have a firm handshake. What you don’t say means just as much as what you do, and nonverbal communication is huge.
Learn a little about a lot of subjects.
Being well-rounded will make you a good conversationalist. Read a newspaper occasionally. Skim a magazine or two. If you can rock a game of Trivial Pursuit, you can rock an interview and come across as well-rounded and in touch with the world.
Have a hobby.
Do you love roller derby? Comic books? Call Of Duty? Photography? Bird watching? Cookies? Having a passion you can talk about will impress a potential employer, because they’ll know you have a solid work-life balance and can bring that passion and drive into the office.
Be sure to look good–and distinctive.
Listen, whether we like it or not, people judge us by our appearances. So wash your hair, iron your pants (ugh, pants–I know) and throw on a conversation-starting piece, like a big cocktail ring, a bold necklace, an exotic bracelet or your favorite earrings you got on vacation in Hawaii. I like to rock a locket with Bill Clinton’s face in it. And no, I’m not kidding, and yes, it does work.