Last week, we talked about the importance of creating the right appeal in order to project a confident, credible and compelling presence. Recently, my 20 year old daughter learned this as she sought my advice in preparation for a job interview. Needless to say, she was glad she heeded the advice when she was offered the job the next day! Whether you are seeking employment, a career change or an internal promotion, your odds of success grow when you take the steps necessary to develop an authentic leadership and personal presence.

When you know who you are and how to effectively present yourself to the world, a challenge like job searching becomes less intimidating. Reading articles about interviewing mistakes to avoid is helpful. However, when it comes to creating a leadership presence that reflects who you are on the inside self-awareness and improved communication skills are crucial.

Let’s look at some of the most effective ways to communicate your leadership presence in an interview situation. These steps require that you invest the time to strategically manage both your appearance and your interactions with everyone so that you can maximize your potential.

Your goal is to stand out by projecting the best that is within you. Here are 4 key style tips that, based on an authentic understanding of yourself, will improve your chances of winning the job offer or new business that you seek:

1.  Align your grooming and clothing to fit the position and reflect your personal style. Dress appropriately for the occasion and the culture of the company with which you are interviewing, but allow your personal style and taste to be reflected. However, the goal is to not be a distraction.

2.  Invest in quality clothing. Don’t let budgetary concerns keep you from purchasing at least one flattering, high-quality “interview outfit.” It may mean having to extend the budget some or make some cutbacks in order to create space in your current budget.

3.  Put color to work for you – leave an impression. Darker colored clothing will give you more visual power, presence and credibility. Wear the best enhancing and intensifying colors close to your face to keep the eyes of the interviewer up and focused on your face. Need help? Seek the advice of an expert to save time and money.

4.  Communicate both strength and empathy. Grab your interviewers’ immediate attention with a sincere, full handshake that applies gentle pressure. Maintain eye contact coupled with a relaxed smile. Remember to use people’s names throughout your conversations.

Stop now and evaluate where you are. In the words of Will Rogers, “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” Keep moving in the right direction. You deserve to create a presence that is polished, poised and professional. How you show up matters!