August 26, 2009
Everyone used to understand what to wear to a job interview. Men wore a suit with a white shirt and tie, and women wore a suit with a skirt. The rules were easy. Not anymore. With the advent of business casual job seekers are presented with a confusing array of wardrobe options to select from when preparing for their interview.
Although selecting the right business casual look can be confusing, we tell you how to dress appropriately for any business casual interview.
Bottom line: its’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
July 21, 2009
Yesterday’s post How To Make $5000/Hour dealt with the preparation that job seekers need to complete before stepping foot into the interview. As critical as the preparation process is, nailing the essential details on the day of the interview is just as important.
Make thoughtful wardrobe choices. There are plenty of articles dealing with what to wear to an interview, but they all boil down to just a few points: dress conservatively, dress up not down, and avoid cologne or perfume. The interview is not the appropriate venue to display your keen sense of style or your contemporary fashion sense. You have no idea who will be conducting the interview, how old they are, how familiar they are with fashion or what their own fashion preferences are. Take no chances that you might alienate the interviewer and simply wear a conservative, sensible outfit that will not detract from your personal message.
Arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Even though you may pull up to the building 40 minutes before your interview, it is entirely inappropriate to enter the building and wait in their reception area. Stay in your car until 10-15 minutes before the interview reviewing your resume, revisiting your anticipated interview responses and checking your teeth one last time to make sure there’s no lettuce trapped between your incisors.
Schedule enough time for the interview. If your interview is scheduled for 9 am, you’d better leave your whole morning open. Don’t schedule another interview at 10:30 or you risk alienating your interviewer just as things are going well. If the interview goes long, it’s likely because the interview is going well. Your interviewer may want to run you by two or three others in the department to get their impressions. Each of these visits may last 20-30 minutes, and if you’ve got to dash to another interview you’re going to alienate someone. Don’t risk it.
Exude confidence. The most difficult task facing most managers today is finding, hiring and retaining talent. Your job is to demonstrate that you possess the talent, technical proficiency and interpersonal skills that will make their life easier. You’ll be a lot more confident if you took the time before the interview to prepare thoroughly, to learn about the company and the interviewer and to think carefully how you can add value to their organization.
June 16, 2009
There are days when I’m jealous of my counterparts in the manufacturing sector. They deal with precision every day. Engineering drawings show detail to .001″, the machinists program their machines to produce parts with specific tolerances, and customers know exactly what to expect when they open the box.
I deal with people. Employers. Employees. Recruiters. Managers. Just people. All of whom are distinctive individuals with their own values, priorities, interests and motivations. Not at all like precision machined parts.
So we face an entirely different set of problems every single day. An ideal candidate whose resume is polished perfection, whose references are sterling, who dazzles at their interview, whose follow up is immediate and who shows their appreciation for getting the job by not showing up. Ever.
Think it’s unbelievable? Well, it happens. And when it does, you can imagine the anger, frustration and disappointment on the part of the hiring company. All of it entirely justified.
What can we do? The best we can do is apologize, empathize and try again. Believe me, we’re just as disappointed as the hiring company. We invest an enormous amount of time in finding, screening and presenting potential candidates and are just as shocked and frustrated as our client company when the process goes bad – no matter who instigates the breakdown.
But the satisfaction of placing the right people in the right jobs, of helping companies find the precise talent they need to thrive trumps the occasional disappointments that working with people, not parts, provides.