We’ve all been there (or will be at some point): Nervous, palms sweating, unsure of what’s to come. All you want is for them to like you. Really, really like you! As you wait watching the receptionist tick away at her computer you begin zone out…and then suddenly you hear the pitter-patter of shoes coming down the hallway. Your heart skips a beat and you have about 30 seconds until you’re in the spotlight… Ladies, I’m talking about The Interview.
I must admit that I’ve had my fair share of interviews. Beyond red carpet questions and fielding inquisitive reporters, I too have had to brave many interviews for jobs and internships…a few of which you might have watched. That said, I’ve become privy as to what goes over well with potential employers and what could be the nail in your prospective career coffin. For today’s Ladylike Laws post I’ll be going over interview etiquette and providing you with the tips and tricks you need to know to land your dream job…
Before The Interview
- Research the company.
- Update your resume. (If possible try to keep it to one page in length.)
- Bring: A fresh notepad, a pen and two copies of your resume.
- Dress appropriately and avoid any oversized or layered jewelry. (Click here for a few ideas and tips on what to wear.)
- Wear natural makeup and keep your hair simple and out of your face. A few of my favorite interview hairstyles include ballerina buns, low ponytails, and half-up styles.
- On the way to your interview, listen to your favorite pump up song to boost your energy and confidence. (It sounds silly, but it always works!)
- Turn off your phone and spit out the gum.
- Arrive on time (and not too early, 10 minutes is usually best).
- Be prepared to answer the following questions:
“Tell me about yourself.
“How has your experience prepared you for this job?
“What is your greatest weakness? (Tip: Whatever your weakness is, always present it as something that you are “working on.” For example, “I’m working on talking less when I am nervous.”)
“Why do you want this job?
- Prepare a few questions of your own, such as the following:
“Why is this position open?
“Is there an opportunity for growth with this position? If so, where does it lead?
“What was your career path to this job?
During the Interview
- Be nice to everyone in and around the building. You never know who works at the company or who will be interviewing you.
- Give them a solid, confident handshake.
- Smile. You want to be approachable and it will ease your nerves.
- Be polite and energetic. No one wants to interview a slug.
- Maintain good posture.
- Don’t talk too much–you don’t want to be a chatterbox, but definitely don’t provide them with one word answers either. Also, do NOT interrupt the person who is interviewing you.
- Remember to ask your questions at the end of the interview.
- Do NOT ask about money during the first interview.
- At the end of the interview, ask when a decision is going to be made and when it is appropriate for you to follow up.
- On your way out, be sure to graciously thank them for taking the time to meet with you.
After the Interview
- The second you walk out of the interview write a hand-written thank you note and pop it in the mail that same day. Yes, as in snail mail. It may seem old-fashioned, but this is an often-overlooked gesture that is greatly appreciated and highly noted by potential employers.
- Follow up if you haven’t heard back by the date specified during the interview. Do not follow up before that date.
- Do NOT (!!!) tweet, Facebook post, or blog about your interview. We all know that the first thing a prospective employer does after an interview is Google the interviewee.
I hope all of you find these tips helpful. If you have any other suggestions for fighting away mid-interview nerves, share them in the comments below.
Next week, I’ll share some outfit ideas for interviews.
Have you ever had an interview go horribly wrong? Tell your tale in the comments below!