Interviews: Tips, Tricks & Wardrobe.

As many of you know I have been looking or a new job since about end of November. That search has not been easy, I don’t want a job I am going to dread going to everyday. I want something I can be passionate about and enjoy working on each day. So I’ve been very selective in the ones I have applied to. I have gotten a lot of flat out rejections, a lot to interviews (8+), very few second interviews (3+), and so far one firm offer.

Here are the things I have learned form interviews.

Tips/Tricks:

  1. Less is more. Talk less around their questions and just answer the question with out a lot of background I feel when you get in to background stuff you say things that you should not say. My advice is be direct with your words.
  2. Prepare answers in your mind for the obvious questions. Like “Why are you a good fit for this position?” & “What are your straights and weaknesses?”
  3. Honesty goes a long way. I have found that bean candid and honest really goes a long way. After all they wanna know your character and lying and withholding information is not a good character trait to be showing in an interview.
  4. Be over the top professional. Button your jacket when you stand. When a new person enters the room stand and shake their hand. Use, Mr. and Mrs. and please and thank you. I have just found that being SUPER polite also speaks volumes of you. Of course it will be more relaxed once you got the job and know everyone by name.
  5. Rephrase the question after they have asked it to you, this gives you time to think of a better answer than off the cuff.
  6. Be early. Not like 15min early but I say 5-7 min is optimal. This shows your eager and you care enough to be on time.
  7. If you are asked to sit and wait for a min before or during the interview. DO NOT pull out your phone. This is not time for angry birds. Your phone should be OFF, not on vibrate, in your suit pocket or purse. NOT in your bra, like I do sometimes. You wan to look interested and professional and not like “Oh, she can’t be away from her phone for 5 min?”
  8. Smile. Smile at everyone and smile and know when people are talking this lets them know you are positive and hearing them. Smile at literally everyone, from the front desk receptionist to the guy you pass in the hallway on the way to the meeting. What if that’s the interviewer is the guy you just passed and he saw you all frantic and frowning.
  9. Ask questions! Do not leave with out all your questions answered. My go to questions are. “So, when will I know what my next step?”, or “Whats the culture of the office like?” I love the second question cus they can’t lie to your face about it. If It’s a poor culture it will show when you ask that question. If it’s good they will rave about the co-workers and the work environment. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions too, like “Whats the compensation look like?” or “Are their health benefits for this position?”, “What is the dress code?”

Wardrobe:

I always dress in my Sunday best for job interviews.

My go to is a long sleeve conservative cotton dress and my good old black blazer and ballet flats. I always dress up even if I know they will all likely be in jeans, just because I want them to see that I clean up well, I can look professional, and I care about this enough to take time to look professional. In my opinion you can never be too professionally  dressed for an interview.

Second thing, I always do my hair and make up. Will I wear my hair curled and full makeup everyday too work, no. But this time I am going all out. Even taking the time to accessorize with my most professional jewelry. Now professional jewelry is not always fancy jewelry. I would say pearls go a long way.

Secrets of the Wardrobe:

If it’s 6+ inches of snow out of course you can’t wear flats. This was me on my most recent interview. So what I did was wore my snow boots and socks and dress and blazer to the interview. Then while you are waiting, or before you go in to the room, change in to your flats and slip your boots and sock in a grocery bag. Then politely ask where you can set your boots.

You will never regret wearing some shorts under your dress. If for some reason you fall or your dress flies up then at least they are not seeing your favorite underwear. I typically wear some volleyball spandex shorts.

Wear a little more perfume than normal. You wanna smell like a million bucks, not drenched in it I’m like saying one squirt more.

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