ADVICE / 45
today’s question: i have a job interview coming up. what are some of your interviewing tips?
i haven’t been on too many job interviews but i have had to meet with new clients. you can apply these tips to those meetings as well.
dress for the job you want, not the one you have. this could all depend on what type of company you’re going for, but dress up! wear heels. put in the effort. don’t wear a lot of jewelry (especially bangles. they’re loud and distracting) and make sure what you’re wearing is comfortable, fits right and makes you feel confident. give it a test run first. how does it feel when you sit? does it wrinkle easy? one time i was interviewing at a company and i chose to wear this new top i had recently bought. i hadn’t worn it before and boy do i wish i could go back and change my outfit. the material was heavy and it was tight in the wrong places. naturally i was nervous and i was sweating. i could see the hiring manager staring at my sweat stains and it totally threw me off my game. i didn’t get that job.
arrive on time. this one seems like a duh, but you never know if you’ll get into traffic or get lost. plan to get there half an hour ahead of time. you can always use the extra time to check yourself in the mirror (no lipstick on your teeth!) or go over your resume.
present yourself at your best. give your hiring manager or new client a firm handshake! nobody likes a wussy one. bring multiple copies of your resume (if they like you immediately, they may want to introduce you to other people). look people in the eye when you talk to them and don’t forget to smile! if you’re presenting a portfolio make sure your nails look nice—they’ll be looking at those a lot!
BRI’S ANSWER: i totally agree with katie’s points. here are a few more…
be prepared but also authentic: the best interviews i have been on in the past i remember feeling comfortable and calm. there is something to be said for being prepared and i am a total nerd about this. i plan my outfit the night before, i prepare questions for them (you have to show interest in the company. even if you don’t have any questions, do your best to think of at least one) and i try to anticipate the questions i will be asked and what i would respond with. but i try not to go overboard with the canned answers because i want to be authentic and in the moment as well. you don’t want it to see like you are just reading off a general answer.
bring something memorable: i remember a few years ago i was going in to meet with the ban.do girls and they were interviewing me about some graphic design work. i had admired the comapany aesthetic and did my research beforehand. i knew the girls loved sweets so i brought some chocolates and a little 3-d card thanking them for meeting with me. i think they still have the little pop-up card at their office. people notice that extra effort. my intern last year, marissa, brought a box of cute treats all in one color. teal scissors, teal string, teal glitter…it made a statement. i interviewed a gal yesterday that gold-leafed her resume…impressive & memorable.
bring supplies: i always bring my business cards, resumes, pens, a journal, ipad, tick tacks, lipstick, examples of work (either loaded on the ipad or printed). you want to show them that you are organized and prepared.
eye contact & confidence: seems easy, but when your nervous these things are the first two to go. try to avoid nervous rambling, just stick to the point.
follow up: i usually send a follow up email after the interview. let them know you’re interested and excited about the opportunity! as always, try to personalize your emails…mention something you chatted about in the interview, say what excites you most about the position. when i hire someone i am looking for personality!