xAs another college semester comes to an end, an abundance of fresh job candidates will scurry to the job market. Along with this comes the dreaded employment interviews. Most of the time so many of us have not been taught how to properly approach and prepare for employment interviews. Of course, when you go into something prepared, it makes it a little less intimidating. I am here today to go over my favorite things to know and do for any employment interview! Now, I am no professional, but I do have 6 years of retail and an interviewing class under my belt.
There are a lot of things that you will find to be common sense. These things include but are not limited to: having a resume, having a cover letter, being nice, and dressing appropriately. Let’s get into the list of things so you can start prepping for the big interview next week.
So it’s the night before and you plan out your route to your interview but don’t know how early you should arrive. Well, it doesn’t matter how early you get to the area, but you don’t walk in until 15 minutes before the interview. Not too early, not too late. If you do arrive before then, go to a coffee shop or read over your interview notes in the car. Once you walk in, have a seat and fight the urge to touch your phone. Better off, leave your phone in the car. You will not need it, it will only distract you. Spend those 15 minutes chatting with those around you, reviewing your interview notes, and drinking a cup of water if they give you one. The absolute worst thing you can do is get on your phone. From the second you step into that building, you are being evaluated.
There are only a few things you need to bring with you: a hard copy of your resume, a list of references, a portfolio if appropriate, and a list of questions for the interviewer. I know you’re thinking “but I submitted my resume online, they should have it”. Yes, the *should but that does not mean they will. Bring a few copies, you never know when you’ll need them. Along with your resume, bring a hard copy with a list of references. Your references should include their name, email, phone, and how you know them. Along with this, make sure that you notify each reference every single time you use them. Tell them the name of the job so that they are not ever surprised about the position they are called about. A lot of times it is appropriate to bring a portfolio. This may include writing samples, photography samples, art samples, etc. Last and often not thought of is a list of questions for the interviewer. If you’ve been interviewed then you know that it always ends with “and do you have any questions for me?”. Your answer needs to be “yes”. Have written out 5-10 questions because you never know how many of those questions will get answered in the interview.
As noted before, do not bring your phone. There is no need to risk for it to go off, for you to sit and play on it in the waiting room, or anything else. Just leave it in your car. It’ll be safe there and I promise you will survive. That’s really it, don’t bring your phone.
As a guy, it’s pretty easy to know what to not wear. Don’t wear loafers, get yourself some shoes that lace up, it’s much more professional. Make sure you do wear a suit and tie, this is not the time for khakis. And if you need your hair cut, be sure to do it at least a week in advance, let it for out a little bit so it looks more natural.
Now, ladies, it’s not as clear-cut for us. The one thing that is the same across the board is to wear a suit. Do not wear a dress or skirt. Get yourself a power suit that makes you feel like the bad ass babe that you are. Now from there, we get a little more freedom. Starting with the blouse under your jacket. Here is where you can add a little bit of color, however, be wary of the cut. Bend over and make sure you can’t see down your shirt, and put your arms up and make sure it doesn’t come out of your pants and show your belly. For shoes, wear a heel (not too tall) and closed toe. Make sure your slacks cover your ankles and if not, wear pantyhose. Keep your hair pretty simple, even in a ponytail and make sure your make-up isn’t insane. This isn’t the time to try out that new smokey eye or red lipstick. If you do want to show some personality, you can do that in fun earrings or glasses if you wear them.
If you have any more questions regarding employment interviews that I didn’t cover here or anything about resumes/cover letters, please reach out to me! You can contact me via by clicking here! Good luck with your job hunt!