Job Interviews in 2012: Details Matter
From voice to fashion
Candace Gonzales McGee, Spicy Cilantro
Originally published at SpicyCilantro
Published on LatinoLA: July 6, 2012
Can we talk? Yes, let's!
As a Career Counselor, I have the opportunity to teach others how to interview. It's one of my favorite things to teach. Interviewing is definitely an art that needs to be learned, but so very possible to master. All you need is knowledge and lots of practice. Do you know why you get an interview?
You get an interview because the employer likes your resume... therefore you get an interview because the employer wants to know MORE about you. This is your chance to shine, and you should!
A job interview means business. Pure and simple.
During your interview you need to provide examples and details from your resume whenever you get a chance. I know some of us are not comfortable "bragging" about ourselves, but this is not time to be shy or timid. If you have to, just step outside of yourself during the interview. I know you may laugh, but it's true and trust me it will work!
Before I get to how to dress, I have to bring something to your attention. Please do not take this the wrong way. It's something that needs to be addressed no matter how sensitive it may be. Ladies, we have to consider our voices. And yes, I am going out on a limb here, but this does not apply to men.
Your Interview Voice
When we are talking in an interview the sound of our voices is extremely important. Some of us have a tendency to use a high pitch voice when we are nervous or trying to be cute. However, the interviewer only sees a lack of confidence. Your voice needs to be strong and you need to be certain about what you are saying. Another thing we do is answer the questions with a question, again, showing a lack of confidence. When you answer your question in the form of a question, even though you are actually making a statement, it gives the interviewer the idea that you are not sure you are answering the question correctly. Be the strong woman that you are with a voice to match and you will tackle that interview like never before!
Moving on…Let's talk about dressing for the interview.
Dressing For Success: Head to Toes
For those that are asking, "Do I have to wear an interview suit?" The answer is, "YES!" Always wear a business suit. In this more casual, high tech era, what defines a business suit? It can be a pantsuit or a skirted suit, but a suit is a must. It can be charcoal grey, black, navy, or dark brown. The blouse underneath should be a light color like white, ivory, or a pastel. Please no Erin Brokovich, boob-peeking or sheer tops! Jewelry can be worn like simple earrings, necklace and a watch. Jewelry should not be dangly or noisy… nothing that distracts.
Shoes need to be close toed, no matter how beautiful your pedicure is. I know flats are in, but for your interview you need to wear a shoe with a heel, a small heel, and no stilettos please. Oh…and yes you need to wear nylons/hose if you chose to wear a skirted suit. I like to wear pantsuits that way I don't have to worry about getting a run in my nylons.
Hair must be neat and out of your face. If you have long hair, it's OK to wear it down, so long as it's not in your face and it's neat in appearance.
Perfume, don't use it. Skip it. Some people have allergies and you don't want to cause the interviewer to sneeze throughout your interview.
Be sure to eat something. I know your nerves may be at an all time high, but try to eat something before you go in. How embarrassing would it be if your stomach started growling in the middle of your shining moment? EEEEK!
Your interview starts as soon as you enter the office. Be nice to the receptionist! The receptionist always reports back. Once you get to the interview, be sure to shake hands with everyone. Now the questions begin.
"Tell me about yourself," they immediately ask you. Many wonder how to answer such a seemingly simple question. Just remember to keep it all business. This means you don't need to include any personal information about your life. What you do need to include is your education, your current job responsibilities, some of your skills, and your work ethic. Look at the job description and relate it to your answer. If the job asks for communication skills, for example, and you have superior skills in communication, then that's something you must include in your answer.
The trick here is to not give away the whole interview in this one question. Just a brief summary about you will suffice.
Remember, if you are going for a professional type position, then you need to dress like a professional. The interview dress doesn't need to be an expression of your artistic talents. If you are artistic type, you still need to dress professionally and you need to have a portfolio to present samples of your work and artistic talent. Some companies are conservative, but the interview time is no time to guess about what type of interview dress they will accept. When in doubt they should wear the suit, you will never get dinged for that, but you might if they don't.
Look for Part 2 of Interviewing Success.
Confidence reflects off your impeccable overall "look."
– Candace Gonzales McGee for Spicy Cilantro!
2012 (c) All Rights Reserved / http://www.spicycilantro.com