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You Have an interview, Now the Question is How Should You Dress?

 

Shenia Ivey MBA, CPC, Ivey Concepts & Solutions (www.ivey-solutions.com) | © 2018

What you wear to the interview will demonstrate how serious you are about the position.  It does not matter if  the recruiter, hiring manager, or the CEO has called you in for the initial interview it is your immediate task to get off to a great start.  Here are some key elements that will not let you down.

  • Be on time
  • Be prepared
  • Take notes
  • Ask Questions
  • Have done your homework about the company
  • Know how you are going to be instrumental
  • Dress professionally

Just because the employer set an interview does not mean you have the job in the bag.  Remember you never get a second chance to make that first impression. So now you need to impress the decision maker with what you know, and basically you should treat your interview as if it is an audition.  What are you auditioning for you might ask? The interview or job audition is usually to determine if you are a good fit for the culture of the organization, the office, the team or all the above.  It could be the first of many, so take a deep breath and be yourself.

  • Do Not over dress.
  • Do Not wear jeans.
  • Do Not wear flip flops.
  • Do not wear shorts.
  • Do Not wear anything with holes in it.
  • Do Not wear tennis shoes or sneakers.
  • Do Not wear tank tops.
  • Do Not wear clothes with profanity on it.
  • Do Not wear anything too revealing.
  • Do Not wear strong cologne or perfume as it may offend the decision maker.

Have you ever heard the saying “Dress for the position you want, not the position you have?”

Keep in mind that being called in for an interview is wonderful and gives the decision maker a great deal of power and being successful in the outcome of an interview requires that you feel confident with yourself. Confidence is portrayed in a number of methods, knowledge, communication skills, and appearance.  Allow your confidence to give you back some of the power.

  • Do choose attire that is clean.
  • Do choose slacks that are not too tight.
  • Do choose a dress or skirt that is of appropriate length.
  • Do choose wrinkle free clothing.
  • Do choose a nice shirt (possibly a button down collared shirt).
  • Do choose closed-toe shoes.
  • Do wear appropriate make-up.
  • Do manicure nails and or facial hair.
  • Do try to cover up body parts that have been tattooed.

Women do not have to wear a dress to an interview, however a nice pair of slacks that fit appropriately will do.  Do not wear anything too low cut or revealing as you do not want to offend anyone.  If you have body piercings or tattoos you may want to keep them covered (if possible) until you understand the climate of the organization.  Men: a tie is not always necessary; however, it does provide the professional look that most corporations are looking towards.

Keep in mind that you may be given leverage to wear more casual attire once hired and tattoos or body piercings may not be against company dress code.  What we are talking about is how you should dress for is the interview.  It is about the initial impression you are sending to your potential new company when asking them to embark on a journey with you.

Good luck!

“Why Should I Hire You?”

“Why should I hire you?”

This question might be a lead-in to your worst interview nightmare. However, every employer wants to know why you deserve the job. Be prepared to tell your interviewer why “you” would be a great fit for the position! Better yet, present yourself in a way that provides an answer before the question is ever asked. This is a very valid question if you are to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes.

Know the job description: Do your homework and make sure you examine the job description point by point. Know the requirements of the position you’re applying for and how well suited you are to the position. Make notes on work you’ve done or skills you’ve grown that exactly match points on the job description. Also, note skills you may need to learn to be successful in the role. Be honest with the interviewer about your limitations, but focus on your strengths. Tell the interviewer why you would be great at the job.
Give concrete examples: While you are looking over the job description, make notes about past projects, growth experiences or life skills that make you well suited for the position or company. Take your notes into the interview and make sure you speak to specific points that show them you’re right for the position. Employers want to know that you’ll fit into their culture and that you’ll hit the ground running.
Be confident in your abilities: The best interviews end with you silently asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t they hire me?” Sell your skills and experience in a confident, but a non-arrogant way. You bring unique skills, knowledge, and experience to the table. Remember that the interviewer is just getting to know you, so you will need to tell them (and show them!) who you are and what you will contribute to their company.
Dress for success: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Strive to be someone they remember as well put together from head to toe. Even if you know the work environment is casual, go to the interview as if you are applying for a CEO position. A well-dressed person oozes confidence, professionalism, and respect; all traits employers seek.
With a little practice, you can master the art of giving a good interview. ACLIVITY offers a variety of Career Services that help you get the job! Call us for coaching, resume help or interview skills training. We’re here to help!

You Have an Interview, Now the Question is How Should You Dress?

You Have an Interview, Now the Question is How Should You Dress?

Shenia Ivey MBA, CPC, Ivey Concepts & Solutions (www.ivey-solutions.com) | © 2017

 

What you wear to the interview will demonstrate how serious you are about the position.  It does not matter if this is the recruiter, hiring manager, or the CEO that has called you in for the initial interview  it is your immediate job to get off to a great start.  Here are some key elements that will not let you down.

  • Be on time
  • Be prepared
  • Take notes
  • Ask Questions
  • Have done your homework about the company
  • Know how you are going to be instrumental
  • Dress professionally

Just because the employer set an interview does not mean you have the job in the bag.  Remember you never get a second chance to make that first impression. So now you need to impress the decision maker with what you know, and basically you should treat your interview as if it is an audition.  What are you auditioning for you might ask? The interview or job audition is usually to determine if you are a good fit for the culture of the organization, the office, the team or all the above.  It could be the first of many, so take a deep breath and be yourself. loans on centrelink

  • Do Not over dress.
  • Do Not wear jeans.
  • Do Not wear flip flops.
  • Do not wear shorts.
  • Do Not wear anything with holes in it.
  • Do Not wear tennis shoes or sneakers.
  • Do Not wear tank tops.
  • Do Not wear anything too revealing.
  • Do Not wear strong cologne or perfume as it may offend the decision maker.

Have you ever heard the saying “Dress for the position you want, not the position you have?”

Keep in mind that being called in for an interview is wonderful and gives the decision maker a great deal of power and being successful in the outcome of an interview requires that you feel confident with yourself. Confidence is portrayed in a number of methods, knowledge, communication skills, and appearance.  Allow your confidence to give you back some of the power.

  • Do choose attire that is clean.
  • Do choose slacks that are not too tight.
  • Do choose a dress or skirt that is of appropriate length.
  • Do choose wrinkle free clothing.
  • Do choose a nice shirt (possibly a button down collared shirt).
  • Do choose closed-toe shoes.
  • Do wear appropriate make-up.
  • Do manicure nails and or facial hair.
  • Do try to cover up body parts that have been tattooed.

Women do not have to wear a dress to an interview, however a nice pair of slacks that fit appropriately will do.  Do not wear anything too low cut or revealing as you do not want to offend anyone.  If you have body piercings or tattoos you may want to keep them covered (if possible) until you understand the climate of the organization.  Men: a tie is not always necessary; however, it does provide the professional look that most corporations are looking towards.

Keep in mind that you may be given leverage to wear more casual attire once hired and tattoos or body piercings may not be against company dress code.  What we are talking about is how you should dress for is the interview.  It is about the initial impression you are sending to your potential new company when asking them to embark on a journey with you.

 

 

Interview

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Second Interview

Congratulations! You passed the initial interview and have convinced the hiring manager that you are worthy of a second look. They have invited you back for round two!

The second interview is an ideal time for you to dig deeper into your background and provide specific examples of your experience and skills. Below is advice we have compiled from several hiring managers on the “Do’s and Don’ts” of preparing for a second interview.

Do:

  • Have a professional presence; be well groomed. You should look as sharp for the second interview as you did for the first.
  • Bring multiple copies of your resume; you may be interviewing with a new group of people.
  • Have at least 10 great questions to ask that demonstrate your curiosity. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Don’t be afraid to ask tough or challenging questions (just frame them eloquently & respectfully!)
  • If you have not already, study the company’s website, press releases, SEC filings, and competitor information. You will gain insight that can help you generate questions and demonstrate industry knowledge.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your resume and articulate your responses:
    • If you have bounced around a lot, have a good reason; but tell the truth. It’s OK to say a job was not a good fit, but never slam your prior boss or employer.
    • If you have been out of work for some time, articulate what you have been doing. Good answers are volunteer work, taking classes or attending seminars. Focusing on family time is OK, but the interviewer will need to know your skills are not stale.
  • Anticipate the interviewer’s five most obvious questions and practice your answers.
  • When questioned in the interview, answer the specific question asked. If you do not know the answer or need to think about it, be honest! Never try to make up an answer; it is fine if you need time to think!
  • Demonstrate with examples that you are a self-starter and a team player with a “can do” attitude. Remember to prepare your examples ahead of time!
  • Remember that personality and behavior are more important than technical skills. Skills can be learned, but personality determines how you learn and how you use your skills.
  • Put your networking connections to good use. Feel free to name drop, just don’t over-do it.
  • Come up with a good “close”: e.g. “How do you feel about me as a fit for this job?” or “Will you be recommending me?”
  • Follow up with a thank you email. Be sure to include each interviewer.

Don’t:

  • Ask thoughtless questions; and do not ask just one or two. This is a mutual exploration.
  • Have an incomplete resume. This can be an indicator that someone is less than forthcoming.
  • Have a sloppy resume. Typos, font inconsistencies or omissions demonstrate poor attention to detail.
  • Have a resume more than two pages in length.
  • Include references on resume unless the company has asked specifically for references. References typically come later in the interviewing process.
  • Sound anxious, get flustered by difficult questions or lose your temper.
  • Say anything about other jobs you are considering. Employers expect you to be on the market.
  • Say you have to start by a certain date. Start dates will be determined when you are offered the job.
  • Conduct the interview via phone or Skype if it is possible to be there in person.

For more ideas on how to put your best foot forward in your next interview, call us. We’re here to help!

Questions to Ask in an Interview

Questions to Ask in an Interview

Interview

Employers will make assumptions about you based on the questions you ask (or don’t ask) in an interview. If you have not thought up good questions before your interview, you might send a message that you are not prepared, have no independent thought process, or are not very interested in the opportunity. You questions will demonstrate if you have done your research on the company. Are you asking questions that you could find answers to on the web? Are you only asking questions about minor details like salary or hours? If you want to be seen as intelligent and thoughtful, you need to ask intelligent and thoughtful questions. Try the questions below in your next interview.

  • What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face? This question shows that you do not have blinders on and you recognize that every job has difficult elements, and that you’re being thoughtful about what it will take to succeed in the position.
  • Can you describe a typical day or week of the person in this position? This question shows that you are thinking beyond just getting the job but visualizing if you would be a good fit.
  • What would a successful first year in this position look like? Asking this illustrates that you are thinking in the same terms that a manager does—about what you need to contribute to the team or company over the long-term to be considered a valuable team member. You will also sound like someone who is not seeking to do the bare minimum, but might truly excel in the role. This question will reveal the skills the manager finds most important and guide your decision about taking the job. You may discover that the job description emphasizes skills A & B and the manager actually cares most about skills C & D.
  • How would you describe the culture? If you thrive in a casual, low-key environment, and the position in a structured, aggressive environment, the job is probably not a great fit.
  • What are the strengths/personality types of the current team members? This rarely asked question will allow you to better understand the current team dynamics of your potential colleagues, as well as give you the opportunity to elaborate on how your strengths can complement the team.
  • Are there any reservations you have about my fit for the position? This is a great way to give yourself the chance to proactively address any doubts the interviewer might have about you. Far too often, this question isn’t asked, and the manager’s doubts are not shared, leaving the applicant without an opportunity to speak directly to the manager’s concerns.
  • What is your timeline for getting back to candidates about the next steps? Always wrap up with this question, so that you know what to expect next. That way, you will not be sitting around wondering when you will hear something, and you will know when it is appropriate to follow up.

It can be helpful to practice your questions in a mock interview. Contact us today to talk about the best way to present yourself in your upcoming interview. We’re here to help!

Why Should I Hire You?

“Why should I hire you?”

This question might be a lead-in to your worst interview nightmare. However, every employer wants to know why you deserve the job. Be prepared to tell your interviewer why “you” would be a great fit for the position! Better yet, present yourself in a way that provides an answer before the question is ever asked. This is a very valid question if you are to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes.

  • Know the job description: Do your homework and make sure you examine the job description point by point. Know the requirements of the position you’re applying for and how well suited you are to the position. Make notes on work you’ve done or skills you’ve grown that exactly match points on the job description. Also note skills you may need to learn to be successful in the role. Be honest with the interviewer about your limitations, but focus on your strengths. Tell the interviewer why you would be great at the job.
  • Give concrete examples: While you are looking over the job description, make notes about past projects, growth experiences or life skills that make you well suited for the position or company. Take your notes into the interview and make sure you speak to specific points that show them you’re right for the position. Employers want to know that you’ll fit into their culture and that you’ll hit the ground running.
  • Be confident in your abilities: The best interviews end with you silently asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t they hire me?” Sell your skills and experience in a confident, but non-arrogant way. You bring unique skills, knowledge and experience to the table. Remember that the interviewer is just getting to know you, so you will need to tell them (and show them!) who you are and what you will contribute to their company.
  • Dress for success: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Strive to be someone they remember as well put together from head to toe. Even if you know the work environment is casual, go to the interview as if you are applying for a CEO position. A well-dressed person oozes confidence, professionalism and respect; all traits employers seek.

With a little practice, you can master the art of giving a good interview. ACLIVITY offers a variety of Career Services that help you get the job! Call us for coaching, resume help or interview skills training. We’re here to help!

Seven Tips for Acing the Phone Interview

The job market is tough these days. There are so many experienced applicants, many with degrees; recruiters find themselves inundated with qualified candidates. If you are lucky enough to receive a positive response to your application, you might be selected for a phone interview. These ten or fifteen minutes are all about deciding if you are worth a recruiter’s time – and if you deserve an in-person interview. That is not much time to get your foot in the door, so it is important to use those few minutes to your advantage. Consider the tips below the next time you are scheduled for a phone interview, and show your interviewer how your experience, skills and attitude qualify you for a second interview. Once you’ve gotten the in-person interview, take a look at our tips here.

Be ready. Do not skimp on the research. Learn all you can about the company and requirements of the position you’ve applied for. Read over the job description and be ready with concise points that demonstrate that you’re the best candidate for the position. Remember that fitting within the company’s culture is critical to your success in the position. Be clear about your ability, and willingness, to fit into the culture.

Be professional. This is not just a chat. It is an opportunity. Take on that opportunity with professionalism. It might be tempting to get comfortable on your couch in your pajamas while you take the phone interview. Resist that urge. Dress as if you are going to an in-person interview, sit at a desk, and put on your “game face.”  Have your resume handy and be prepared to speak to every aspect of your career, and every transition between jobs.

Mind your energy. Put a smile in your voice and convey your enthusiasm about the job. Demonstrate through your energy and attitude that you really want the position and that you are easy to communicate with. If you sound timid, the interviewer is going to think you are timid, or not very interested in the position.

Stay focused. Do not look in a mirror while you hold the conversation – you will be focusing on yourself when you need to be focusing on the interviewer. Visualize the person you are talking to and develop a more personal connection by looking at a picture of the interviewer. Odds are good you can find an image on their LinkedIn or other social profile. Keep that picture in view and remember that you are talking to a real person. One who could impact your future.

Listen before you talk. Be sure to listen carefully to questions posed and construct your responses so they clearly answer the interviewer’s inquiries. When you are nervous, you might blurt things out or talk too much. Pause before answering questions. Demonstrate your thoughtful consideration, rather than a rush to speak. Keep your responses simple. If you are not sure that you have given the interviewer the answer they were looking for ask something like, “Is that what you were after? Would you like me to clarify that in more detail?”

Ask questions. There is always a place in an interview where the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” Never say “No” to that question. Be prepared with thoughtful questions generated from your research, and use this opportunity to show your enthusiasm or ask about specific aspects of the job. Your questions should clarify responsibilities of the job, aspects of company culture or simply demonstrate that you are serious about putting your experience to work. At this point, it is not appropriate to ask about processes, salary, benefits or start dates. Those questions come after you have secured the in-person interview. Rather than asking what the company will do for you, stay focused on what you will do for them.

Figure out what comes next. The last thing to cover in a phone interview is, “What’s next?” Ask the interviewer if there is more information you can provide, and if they can confirm what the next steps are. Should you provide references? Will there be another interview? Do not be shy about asking how to continue the process. If you are serious about the job, you will naturally be curious about what comes next. The recruiter will expect no less.

When a company offers you a phone interview, they are really giving you a window of opportunity. Prepare to do your best with that opportunity. With solid research, a professional demeanor, and clear communication about what you bring to the table, you can help the interviewer feel like you are a good use of their time. In the end, your preparation could get you what you really want; an in-person interview.

Good luck!

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