Ok, so I know some of y’all are looking at the cover picture thinking, “Girl what business you own?!”
DONT WORRY BOUT IT!
Just kidding. Like all things that happen to me I would like to thank God for the opportunities that he saw fit to bless me with! In this instance, He allowed me to conduct interviews to fill my current position as a legal assistant for a family attorney. Interviews ran for about a week and were primarily conducted by me alone! Crazy right? Me, Jaylin interviewing people for a job…
Ok, I’m about to get to the point…
Top 6 Interview Tips:
(Based off of my observations from the interviews. I only picked 6 because I ramble and I felt like these were the most important)
#1. Look the Part. Don’t Play Yourself!
What I mean by this is that you should dress in clothes appropriate for an interview. I would suggest business professional opposed to business casual. Only because I would much rather look slightly over dressed than under dressed any day. When I say “don’t play yourself” I mean not to set yourself up for a negative outcome by not making the effort to dress appropriately.
I would go for maybe a nice button down and a knee length pencil skirt with a professional closed toe pump. If you have a blazer to match or pants instead of a skirt that works too! I would stick to neutral colors like black, gray, navy blue, brown, nude, or white.
Makeup should definitely be worn, BUT nothing crazy. A light beat at best. No loud lipstick colors or over the top lashes. Make sure you are well groomed. You know, like if you have on a skirt make sure your legs are not hairy. Your nails should be as natural as possible. Its fine if you don’t have a manicure, just make sure your hands aren’t ashy and your nails are at least the same length.
A nice button down and slacks is always a win! Ties are essential in my opinion. Stay neutral, meaning no loud colored suits. Black, gray, and navy blue are your friend! I know maroon and olive colored suits are nice, but I would stay as neutral as possible.
Make sure you are well groomed. Minimal facial hair is always best. Make sure your clothes are ironed. Shoes tied.
#2. Body Language is Important!
My definition of body language would be, the way in which you hold your body in reaction to the emotions you are feeling. That means people can usually tell when you are nervous, uncomfortable, happy or sad simply based off of the way you are positioned.
I’ll go ahead and list a few off-putting body language cues that I observed during interviews.
Ok, so the interview was held in a board room with a large table and big black chairs, just to give you a mental pic.
1. Twirling around in a chair: This one is sort of distracting. Although it may give off a vibe of excitement, you do not want your potential employer to be focused on a chair instead of you!
2. Tightly clasped hands: Ok ok, I know this sounds extreme…BUT, in my opinion, it showed more of an uncomfortable/nervous vibe opposed to confident. Its just a bit awkward if that is your pose throughout the entire interview…
3. Bad eye contact: Good eye contact is not a creepy stare. Its more like a look for a couple seconds look away naturally occasionally type thing. It may take practice, so I suggest grabbing a friend and practicing #realfriends #howmanyofus
When you are in an interview with one person practice the tip above. If you are in an interview with multiple people you should just shift your eyes from person to person. Be careful not to spend too much time on any one individual. Keep it flowing.
#3. Be Prepared!
When I say be prepared I mean just that! Do not show up to an interview empty handed. This isn’t a rehearsal people *inserts yelling emoji*! But seriously, have a nice folder with a copy of your resume. Actually, maybe 4 copies just to be safe. If you know how many people you will be interviewed by then bring a copy for each one of them.
#4. Ask Questions!
At the end of most interviews the employer will ask you the dreaded question…
“Do you have any questions for me/us?”
I’m sure at this point you’re a little nervous because you don’t know what a good question to ask is. Ok well, you don’t have to feel that way anymore because I got you!
Good questions to ask:
- Research the company before the interview. You can ask a question about something you read online. This shows how interested you are!
- What a typical work day is like for the position you are applying for.
- If you feel confident enough you can always ask, “When do I start?” and laugh it off. Only if you feel great though lol. Gauge your audience.
#5. Be Yourself!
I know that this sounds cliche. I know everyone always says this, but what do they actually mean by “be yourself”?
Like all of my posts, this is simply my definition. I think its pretty credible. Lol, I wouldn’t lead y’all astray.
To be yourself means to get rid of the robotic shield that most people have when they are being interviewed. Many people have bad nerves and the interviewing atmosphere may cause them to feel nervous or doubtful.
That my friends is how you set yourself up for a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” moment. In other words, no job for you.
An interview is your time to shine! Break the ice with your warm personality and I guarantee you will feel more comfortable and thus perform better during the interview. It is very apparent when a person is comfortable and secure with themselves. Allow your employer to get a feel of what it will be like to have you in the position. I would suggest extended a genuine compliment or asking them how their day is going so far. That way you seem polite and interested!
#6. I Love Jesus, you may love Jesus, but your employer may not…
We live in a world where many of us will not share the same sentiments about God as you, which is perfectly fine. We can not be discouraged, we must be aware. Since we are aware of the sensitivity of the topic of religion we should limit our mention of Him in the workplace. Some may not agree, but in an interview setting, I believe that is your opportunity to show how well you can fall in line with the company. With that being said, once again, gauge your audience. If the employer does not show any signs of being a follower of Christ I would refrain from mentioning it because you simply do not know how that person will react.
Some may argue that if you have to hide your religion then that is not the place for you…which is true to a certain extent
What I’m trying to say is that there is a time and a place for everything. In an interview don’t represent Jesus with incorporating Him into your answers. Instead, represent him through the way you carry yourself and the way that you treat others. His light will shine through you without you.
A Couple Things That Will Set You Apart
- Send a ‘Thank You’ note. Handwritten is more personable, but an e-mail will suffice. Thank the employer for their time and make it known that you would love to join their team.
- Don’t ask where the place is…google it. Don’t be lazy. That is the message you send across when you ask for easily accessible information.
- If you are asked the question, “what do you consider to be one of your weaknesses?” don’t actually tell them. The point of an interview is to make you look great so do just that. Take one of your positive attributes a flip it + provide follow up on how you have worked this “weakness” to your advantage. If you are feeling confident then you could lighten the mood by saying something like “chocolate”. Sounds corny, BUT it will make them laugh, make them remember you, and make them move on from the question. (proceed with caution though)
This is all I have for now. I hope this helped at least one person feel a bit more confident. Feel free to comment with some of your interview tips and experiences!