Actions truly speak louder than words, especially during an interview. Did you know that first impressions are based on 55% body language? You can start making a non-verbal impression from the moment you walk in the lobby door until the moment you leave. Be mindful of your body language. Some non-verbal mistakes can ruin your chances of a job offer, even if your answers to the interview questions are spot on.

First let’s start with the basics- Your first impression. You will make a visual impression within seconds of meeting your interviewer, before you get the opportunity to say a word. You can immediately turn an interviewer off if you look (or even smell) unprofessional, careless, or nervous.

How You Look: Make sure that you are dressed properly from top to bottom. For example, dress pants, a nice conservative top with a blazer, and most definitely wear closed toed shoes. It’s all about presenting a professional, confident persona to the interviewer. If you look good, you will feel good, and that will lead to success throughout the interview!

How You Smell: This may sound obvious, but it’s essential to avoid making a bad first impression. Don’t walk into your job interview smelling like you’ve bathed in cologne or perfume, and reek of cigarette or cigar smoke.

What You Bring: Don’t forget to bring a few hard copies of your resume (at least one for each of the people you’re scheduled to meet, plus an extra or two, just in case). Bring your portfolio and work samples, if appropriate, and make sure that they are organized and free of errors.

Make a point of greeting the receptionist in a warm, professional manner before taking a seat to wait for your interviewer. Be polite, but not overly friendly. You never know who might be watching you while you wait, so definitely do not slouch and have poor posture. Also- do not take phone calls or obsessively check your iPhone. This portrays extremely negatively, and seems as if you have better places to be. Sit down and wait patiently. This gives you time to review your interview preparation notes or check out any company materials displayed in the lobby.

The most important key to success is self-confidence. And an important key to self-confidence is preparation. If you prepare and use these helpful tips, you will feel great about your interview (and so will the interviewer).