interview 101

A few lessons on interviewing...

Time: Seems obvious enough; but be on time! Actually, not only on time but 15 minutes early. If by the freak chance you are running late even though you left 2 hours early just to ensure you got there on time; call, text, email, send smoke signals…something to show you give a damn! Even that may not save your behind from being late but at least you show some signs of respect for the interviewer’s time. If you’re late for an interview you’re most likely written off before you even get a chance to say hello, so get there early!

Waiting: This part is always a bit awkward. What to do? Where to look? How to sit? Here’s what to do: you arrive 15 minutes early, let the receptionist/secretary know that you have arrived so they can let the interviewer know, ask for the restroom, go to the restroom, remove your coat, fix your clothing that might have moved around under your coat, fix the fly aways and reapply your lipgloss need be. Now you look presentable, settled, and relaxed. This way when the interviewer comes out to greet you you’re not flustered trying to find a place for your jacket, fixing your blouse, and trying to free a hand from your purse to shake hands. Oh, and whatever you do put your cell phone away during the waiting period; review your resume, read a book, shit look into space but no cell phone!

Appearance: Everyone wants to express themselves and show their personality through what they wear which is lovely; however, when you’re on an interview remember it’s professional. Even if you’re applying for a creative job you still have to uphold professionalism because it is an interview. You can let your personal style pop out in subtle ways when on an interview but it should not be the main attraction, don’t let your appearance take away from your personality and intelligence.

Hair: Neat. No dramatic colors. No hair pieces that are falling out. If you’re roots need serious touch ups put your hair in a ponytail perhaps.

Nails: Neat. Long blue acrylic tips are never a good idea but especially not okay for an interview. Keep it classic with a neutral color.

Clothes: Neat. Professional. Keep to the classics black and white and find a way to jazz it up to suit your personality. Good Example: a knee length black a line skirt, with a cute pair of pumps, and a great silk blouse…stylish, classic, neat, professional BAM! Bad Example: bright gold textured blazer, printed pants, and colored ballet flats! Don’t dress for a music video or runway show dress for an interview.

Resume: Bring copies! It doesn’t matter if you’ve emailed it to the company 10 times already you bring at least 2 clean copies in a folder. Do not pull a resume out of your bag crumpled or folded, that is so messy! Also, make sure it is an up to date resume. While technology is marvelous don’t use your iPad as your resume, or if you do because you want to show off your tech skills make sure you have a hard copy as well for the interviewer to walk away with. Fun Fact: Interviewers actually write notes on the resumes that they have piled on their desk “Awesome, 2nd interview needed.”, “10 minutes late, done.”, “Maybe.”

Company Knowledge: Thanks to the world wide web you can find out anything about anyone or anything. So take those stalker skills that our generation has been blessed/cursed with and put them to good use. Find out everything you can about the company you are going to be interviewing with: Any new mergers? Did they just make “Top 10 Companies to Work For” list? New CEO? How many properties do they have? You’re not going on an interview to learn about a company, do your homework. You’re going on an interview because it’s a company that you respect and you want to be a part of. You should be asking questions about the culture of working at the company not when the company was founded.

People Skills: Unfortunately this new generation lacks this very important skill. It’s great to be knowledgable in all of these new technology and modern day cutting edge tools like social media, but don’t forget the basics: people! It’s so important to know how to hold a conversation with spoken words. Great, you’re the queen of twitter and have over 5,000 Instagram followers…guess what all of that means shit if you can’t hold a conversation in real life because news flash twitter world isn’t real.

Learn the new and stay on top of the changing times but don’t forget the basics. Good Luck!