First impressions may be the most important aspect of finding a job

According to “The Etiquette Advantage in Business” by Emily Post, arriving too early to a job interview isn’t always the best option.

If you arrive more than 15 minutes early and beeline for the reception area, your interviewer may feel rushed and you might appear desperate.

“Ideally, you should check in five to 10 minutes early, and always be courteous and professional to everyone you meet,” said Janice Hamford, a human resources specialist at Merrill Lynch in Orlando.

“You never know how much influence the receptionist may have on the hiring decision.”

Like it or not, people make judgments on appearances, so it’s important to arrive at the interview dressing professionally, Hamford said.

“If you dress too casually, the interviewer may think you’re not serious about the job,” Hamford said.

Wearing sloppy, tight or revealing clothing to a job interview could also be a deal breaker.

Business suits are always appropriate for both men and women.

And don’t forget the details: it may be wise for your shoes and accessories to be clean and polished, Hamford said.

“Be sure your hair is well-groomed and keep your makeup minimal,” Hamford said.

“Cover any tattoos and limit visible piercings to one in each earlobe,” she said.

According to Post’s book, handshakes also speak volumes.

Offer a limp hand and your partner will think you are hesitant or meek.

Give a bone-crunching squeeze and you can appear overly enthusiastic or domineering.

But when you shake with a medium-firm grip, you convey confidence and authority.

A study by Albert Mehrabian, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles found that 55 percent of communication is received from body language.

“Avoid crossing your legs and don’t adopt a casual pose, even if your interviewer does,” said Carmen Reaves, a regional manager for Macy’s department store.

Reaves recommends you refrain from fidgeting, even if you’re nervous.

Don’t play with your jewelry, twirl your hair or cross your arms and try to maintain eye contact with the interviewer, she said.

If staring straight into the interviewer’s eyes makes you uncomfortable, Reaves suggests looking at the bridge of his or her nose instead.

“It looks like you’re still making eye contact, but might be less distracting,” she said.

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