After sending in those awesome resumes that you learned how to make by visiting my first blog post on getting the job interview, it’s time to start preparing for your interviews, regardless if you have an interview scheduled or not. Before they call you for your interview (and they will call, because you are fabulous), I wanted to provide some tips that are often overlooked by most job-hunting assistance websites. These are honest, straight-forward tips to put you in the point-of-view of the interviewer.
When an interviewer calls to set up and interview with you there are a couple of assertive things that you should do so that you are not being set up for failure.
Appointment Time and Date
Refrain from appointment dates on Mondays and Fridays and afternoon appointment times . Why? Because, on Monday, interviewers are groggy and swamped with work that accumulated over the past week. They were probably having a blast on Saturday and Sunday, and probably aren’t thinking coherently (think about how you are on a Monday, BAM). They want the interview to be done– over with—so that they can actually do whatever it is that they do when they are not interviewing you. Also, I don’t recommend setting an appointment on a Friday. On Fridays, we all have that nonchalant “Whateverrr” attitude. On a Friday, the interviewer is not listening to you—they are thinking what they have to do after they leave from interviewing you—like going to the ATM and picking up the kids from school. They just got paid and want to go shopping!
The best appointment days are Tuesdays through Thursdays. The interviewer is most focused on those days. That way they can pay more attention to you so that you can make your awesome impression on the company. 😀
The time chosen for your interview is equally important. I strongly suggest agreeing to a morning interview. Why? Because of something we call “The Itis!”
“The Itis (pronounced “eye-tiss“) is something that is rarely talked about in the business world and I am unsure why, because it affects everything that we do after lunchtime. What’s “The Itis?” It’s that feeling you get after eating a meal filled with refined carbs, fried foods, and rich pastries. You feel full, sluggish, lethargic, sleepy. They can’t think well enough to actually take you seriously if they have “The Itis” so be wary of accepting an interview time after 12:00 p.m. (Youtube Link: Dave Chappelle actually gave the world a wonderful explanation of “The Itis” on his television show).
After negotiating appointment times, make sure that you ask them for more information about the location of the interview. Here are some of the questions I like to ask so that I can be prepared:
– What color is the building that I should be looking for? Are there any landmarks that can help me find the building quickly?
– What floor should I go to?
– Is there anything I need to know about parking?
– Who should I contact if I have any other questions or if I get lost?
It’s also a good idea go to your interview site the day before to be aware of any construction, delays, parking fees, etc.
Attire and Appearance
Note: This is for interviewees who will be in an office type setting. Dress like you already have the job. Dress as if you were doing the interview.
The suit: The business suit is an investment. I do what I can to be sure I have quality business suits for interviewing. I’ve noticed that a lot of clothing stores don’t even have business suits, let alone business casual wear! Because of this, I’ve seen a lot of interviewees come to their interviews wearing just about anything (i.e., low-cut blouses with tight low-rise rayon pants).
If you have the funds, go to your nearest department store and invest in a business suit. Some stores like Burlington Coat Factory will even provide alterations for your suit for a nominal fee! If you don’t have a lot of money to purchase one retail, be of good cheer: I have found the best business suits at thrift stores—sometimes brand new, with the original price tags still on. I recently purchased a brand new business suit at Goodwill with a retail value of $178.00 for only $7.99! After purchasing my bargains, all I have to do is dry clean them and I am in “hiring mode!”
Ladies, please be sure to not have a high skirt—when in doubt, wear slacks. Gentlemen, a three-piece suit is not necessary but a tie is. The internet is awesome because they have websites available such as “How to tie a tie for your job interview.”
Wear a blazer. The blazer invokes authority… walk in it by always having your blazer on. This is a trick that I learned from the real estate industry and a guest speaker at a management honors fraternity meeting. (Side note, notice that a lot of guys are wearing blazers with their tee-shirts and jeans at clubs, outings, music videos? They’re trying to boost themselves and look “authoritative.” lol).
Ladies: I totally recommend wearing makeup if you already wear it! I have read so many business news articles reporting that women that wear make-up end up making more money than the ladies that do not. I do not recommend the over-the-top items like shimmer lip gloss or full-false eyelashes. If you have long hair, put it in a ponytail or half-ponytail because you don’t want your hair to distract. Pantyhose or airbrush hose is a must, especially if you are wearing a skirt. Nails should not be long, and not be in outrageous colors or designs. I recommend wear closed toe heels/pumps for your footwear.
Always shine your shoes the night before, being sure that the heels are not worn and not in need of repair.
Everybody: wear no pierced jewelry other than ones in the ear, ladies (sorry, Gentlemen, no earrings please). Discreetly cover your tattoos. It is requested that perfume not be worn to the interview. We interviewers have sensitive noses. Chances are, we are going to be in a small room with you, closed off, and we need all the fresh air we can get because we’re nervous (see below). Don’t forget to use dental floss before going to the interview. It makes such a difference for your breath when you floss daily. If you smoke, try not to smoke before your interview.
Clean your car before your interview. This is especially important for someone interviewing for a position that requires travel. Put yourselves in the interviewer’s shoes again: “Why would I want to hire someone for a traveling job if they don’t have their personal items and lives in order in their own vehicle?” Get your car washed, clean it out, and put in a new air freshener the day before your interview. Little things like this boost up your confidence and have you walking to the interviewer’s door with the assertive demeanor guaranteed to get you the position.
Make the Interviewer’s Job Easier!
Interviewers are afraid of you! They’re scared—they don’t know what to expect. They don’t know what the acronym of their company name stands for. They don’t know who’s getting the next promotion. Interviewers are nervous too! So do your interviewer a favor by coming to the interview prepared. Search for website titles “Questions to ask during a job interview” and be sure to do your homework about the company, including a search for recent news articles about the company. Then tie all that in to how you can make the company even better (that’s what you’re going to be there for, right? 😉 ) You’ll be so comfortable and assertive that your interviewer will remember you. You just won’t be another resume on the desk. Congratulations, you’ve made your interviewer’s job easier by giving them what they want.
What to bring with you to the interview so that you can make your scared interviewer feel at ease:
– Professional-looking portfolio to carry your documents
– Pen & paper to take notes during the interview
– Hard copies of previous successes (certificates, transcripts, statistics of goals accomplished, etc)
– A list of references
– …and a few copies of your resume printed on heavy resume paper. Be sure to have one for yourself and least three additional copies (sometimes during the interview, they fail to mention that a panel will meet with you). This is how you can have your resume stand out from everyone else. Most of the time we interviewers see a dot matrix or non-formatted copy of your resume because it usually screened online first. Printing out your resume in a readable format, on heavier paper helps us know that you are taking the interview seriously! This is especially important for federal job interviews. Make sure your resume has been proofread and revised to meet the objectives of the job.
Last, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before your interview. We can tell if you didn’t by looking at your bloodshot eyes, lol. Again, be confident, be assertive, and know pretend that you have the job before you have the job. You got this! God bless!
Phil 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.