By Tony Cali, HR Manager, ACA Talent
You can spend months searching for jobs, interviewing, and maybe even saying “I’m just not that into you” to some. It starts to feel like you’ll never find The One. But then it happens and the right job calls. It’s everything you want and more: the company rates a stellar five on Glassdoor, vacation time is unlimited, and the salary’s going to put an end to ramen noodle Thursday night (you know, the one right before payday).
Before you ring the bells and throw the rice, there are two areas to consider when first interviewing with the company: dressing the part and what to do on the big day. By the time you leave the interview, you want both the company and yourself to say, “I do.” Remember, it’s supposed to be like a wedding, not a funeral. Show them all the good sides of you.
What to Wear to Your Job Interview:
- Something Borrowed: Don’t borrow a suit, unless you and your college roommate are the exact same measurements. You never want to go in looking like you’re playing dress-up in Dad’s things. Try Marshalls, Ross, or even Goodwill if you are low funds, but everyone is aware when the suit doesn’t fit. Make sure you get the proper alterations made to ensure you look your best.
- Something Blue: A blue-button up has become a staple for an interview. You want to make sure you stand out, but not so much that everyone is wondering “What was she/he wearing?” Try to be conservative, but have your own flair.
- Something Old: As far as flair goes, wear something that symbolizes you. It could end up being a conversation piece. Fun socks, a lapel pin or an interesting pair of heels will all make you feel more comfortable if it’s something you would wear regardless. Let your interviewers know who you are straight away.
- Something New: Any shopaholic knows that a new accessory or outfit builds confidence. That new purse you’ve been eyeing will make you feel ten feet taller when you walk in to meet your new boss.
Now that you’ve picked out your winning outfit, you’re on to interview preparation. Keep in mind that the most important part of nailing the interview is showcasing your best abilities. Make sure you’re prepared and have examples for questions. Everyone knows “Tell me about a time…” is going to come up, so be ready with solid answers.
Job Interview Day Dos and Don’ts
- Don’t Leave Them at the Altar: No one likes to be jilted, especially a potential employer. If you’re going to be late, call ahead, but don’t just fail to show up. In fact, you may want to arrive at least 15 minutes early. You also don’t want to go in underdressed, underprepared, or with low energy. You’re supposed to want this job and interviewers know when you’re phoning it in.
- Leave the Crying Flower Girl at Home: Even if you despised your previous employer and went out like Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale burning cars, don’t spend the entire interview complaining about what you didn’t like and why they were wrong. Find the positives that kept you there for so many years and use those experiences to speak highly of the company.
- No One Likes a Dry Wedding: Sorry to say, but 75 percent of the wedding guests are there for free food and drinks. So, come to the interview with materials to quench your interviewer’s thirst. If you’re a salesperson, bring numbers that back up your past performance. If you’re in HR, bring the training manual that you created to showcase what you can do. For marketing, print out screenshots of your website. Showing what you can do is a one-up on your opponents.
- The Show Must Go On: When bridesmaids or groomsmen have a little too much, they get a hold of the microphone and say things that don’t really make sense or totally embarrass the bride. The bride and groom laugh it off and someone takes the microphone away. Just like a wedding, the interview must continue, despite awkward moments. Don’t think one completely wrong answer will ruin your chances. Think about your next answer rather than what you forgot to say. Or, if it’s important, clarify what you meant without making much of it.
- Dance, Live, and Love: Don’t forget the three best things you’re celebrating at a wedding. Your interview should be relaxed. Feel free to be personable. Leave the interviewer feeling like you just spent the best two hours together.
So that’s it: we hope these tips help sign, seal, and deliver an offer letter from your next interview. Now onto the Honeymoon stage . . . .