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How to nail a job interview with your smile

When it comes to landing your dream job, confidence and presentation during the interview are key to success.

And nothing conveys confidence to your potential employer more effectively than a big, bright smile.

46% of recruiters report that appearances influence their hiring decision during the in-person interviews. And 41% of recruiters judge your appearance before they meet you, stating that they look at and review a candidate’s photo on LinkedIn or other hiring and social sites before your first interview.

A great smile can help you land the job offer, all the way from the pre- to post-interview process. That’s why we asked job search expert Will Wegert of Cold Collar to share his pro advice on how you can improve and use your smile to nail your next interview.

Make a great pre-first impression

“If you’re looking for a new job, your smile matters,” Wegert says. “I’m talking about smiling in interviews, smiling on your LinkedIn photo, and smiling on your social media photos.”

Wegert’s advice is data-backed: 60% of employers use social media vetting as part of their hiring process.

Even after you’ve nailed the job, your smile could make a difference on your career trajectory. Over the years, appearance has also been linked to higher wages across professions, as people who are considered more attractive tend to make more money.

Oral health tip: Professional teeth whitening, or even at-home whitening kits, can help your teeth appear brighter in pictures.

Appear friendly and approachable

When you walk in for your first interview, a big smile shows that you’re friendly and approachable. These are important factors, as a positive personality is a “soft skill” which plays a big role in impressing your future employer.

In fact, almost three-quarters of employers say they look for a “positive attitude” in candidates — the No. 3 most sought-after personality trait in candidates.

“[A great smile] projects a radiant, energetic attitude that recruiters and hiring managers love,” Wegert says.

Though recruiters care about how your skills and experience align with the position, they also want to make sure you’re going to fit in with the company culture.

Fitting in with company culture matters, as employees who are happy with their company’s culture have greater job satisfaction, are more likely to stay with their employer longer, and consistently perform well. Plus, an organization could lose 60% of an employee’s annual salary due to turnover caused by lack of culture fit.

Oral health tip: Don’t let small tooth problems turn into big ones. Make sure you visit the dentist when you need to.

Prove your confidence and capability

Nothing helps you nail an interview like self-confidence, and nothing exudes confidence better than a strong smile.

“Not only does a great smile help make that critical first impression on your next potential employer, but it also helps you gain internal confidence,” Wegert says.

Confidence signals to employers that you’re likely to be a strong leader, which is the top attribute that employers want to see on applicant’s resumes.

More than 80% of employers look for evidence of leadership skills on the resume. If you can’t match that impression in person, your chances at getting an offer are likely to go down the drain.

Plus, good teeth can indicate that you are responsible and take pride in your personal appearance, which could also reflect how you’ll perform in the job.

On the flip side, you might hold back your smile if you’re feeling self-conscious about your teeth. Studies have found a link between lack of self-esteem and poor oral health, and if interviewers see your confidence falter, they’re less inclined to make an offer.

Oral health tip: Not having dental insurance increases the likelihood that you’ll skip out on preventative care that’s essential to your overall health — more than half of uninsured Americans don’t get preventative treatment at all. Get a no-commitment quote today.

Avoid bad breath

Bad breath is bad news for a job interview.

Foul-smelling breath can distract the interviewer, and leave the impression that you don’t take good care of yourself. If you can’t be responsible for your personal hygiene, how will a recruiter trust you to take care of your work?

Oral health tip: Regularly rinsing your mouth with saltwater can help fight bad breath.

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Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.

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