If you know someone who is interviewing for a new job, they’re going to need more than luck to be offered a good position with the competitive job market today. I’ve been in a “few” interviews throughout my life, and learned much from each one.
For the past few years, I’ve mentored graduating college students on the interviewing process. We conduct mock interviews during class, and have them come dressed as they would for an interview. The students get to critique each other, and learn so much from their experience to take with them into their real life interviews. My goal is to set them up for success! Here are a few of my tips to make sure you look pulled together and present yourself to a potential new employer in the best way possible.
Let’s start with your physical presentation, as you will judged on your appearance and how well you put together your “look”. Bottom line, you don’t want to have attention drawn to your appearance. You want them to remember your personality, what you have to offer, and how you present yourself. Remember, they are deciding if you are a good fit for their company.
This is really important and speaks volumes about you to an observant manager.
Take a shower and wash your hair before the interview.
Clip your excess body hair (facial hair, including nostril and ear hair, ladies shave your legs and underarms)
Fashion your hair in a conservative style, out of your face and do not touch it during the interview.
Ladies should wear something like a Perfecting Veil to smooth their complexions, light eyeshadow, a touch of blush and light lipstick. Just remember, you don’t want them to notice that you have makeup on, only that you have a polished look.
Men should be freshly shaven, or neatly trimmed facial hair.
Brush your teeth and use dental floss before your interview.
Use a breath mint before going in, making sure it is dissolved before you begin.
You want to show them that you respect their company and the opportunity by dressing up.
A simple business suit in either black or navy with a white or light colored shirt beneath.
Make sure your clothes are ironed, especially your shirt, just in case you take your jacket off.
Ladies the trend is toward full leg stockings – solid color or neutral without a pattern, without holes or runs.
Take some time to clean your shoes – they speak volumes about you. If you can, take them to a shoe repairman for a quick once over and polish.
The less jewelry, the better. Leave your nose and other types of rings at home. One ring on your hand is enough.
Carry a business type bag with additional copies of your resume, and items in your portfolio should they be requested by the interviewer. Place a pad of paper and pen to take notes with during the interview.
Preparation and Presentation
Brush up on the standards in your industry, know the latest trends.
Leave your cell phone in the car.
Research those you are interviewing with, and the corporation. Know their backgrounds and specialties, and their mission statement.
Know the plans for the future growth of the company and how the position you are interviewing for fits into these plans.
Smile. Then smile some more.
Extend your hand to everyone you are introduced to.
Extend your hand again at the end of the interview.
Make eye contact throughout the interview, with each individual you are speaking.
Speak clearly, and know the answers to questions that are generally asked such as your strengths and weaknesses, what you bring to their company, what can you add to their business, what are your five year goals, etc. Search out job sites for additional questions, as they may ask more targeted questions, looking for specific answers.
Do not touch your face, especially your nose or mouth during the interview. If you must cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow brought up to your face. This way your hands stay clean.
Prepare questions you have for them, about the company and the position.
Before you leave the interview, establish how and when the next communication will proceed.
You should send an email thank you within 24 hours, and also consider sending a handwritten note as well.
Be prepared for a telephone interview. Sometimes that is the first “gate” you will need to pass through to be invited to an in-person interview.
Be kind to EVERYONE you meet, everywhere. You never know who is in the restroom with you, or how much input the receptionist may have into who is hired.
Remember to say Yes (not yeah), and excuse me (not Huh?), Please and Thank you – these little things go a long way.
Practice in front of a mirror, and even better yet, with a friend, to get yourself more comfortable. The greater your preparation, the more relaxed and confident you will be.
If you follow these tips, you will have a better chance at landing your new job!
I welcome comments if there’s more you can add that is positive and helpful.
Best wishes for your success!