Land a Job with Your Interview
LAND A JOB!
WELCOME TO YOUR FUTURE
Landing a position is not easy. It requires strategy, out of the box thinking, and a lot of hard work. Competition for jobs is exponentially growing. There are more candidates applying for positions because emerging technologies make it easy to apply. It is easier than ever before to get your resume onto some one’s desk.
So you have to ensure you stand out – above and beyond the competition — not only through your job search documents (i.e. resume, cover letter, thank you letter, etc.), but through relationship-building with potential employers.
Getting a job is a lot like dating. You can’t just show up. You have to dress well, think about what you will talk about, what you will do, about the date’s background…Many people think the process is sending documentation and that going in to interview will singularly and simply get you the job. Wrong. It’s true many people luck out and are hired after those two steps; if your resume has made a strong impression and you have done a great job of acing your interview, it could happen. But more often than not, the process is much greater. What precedes and follows the interview are the most important parts of wooing your potential employer.
TIPS FOR THE INTERVIEW
Congratulations! You have secured an interview. Now how do you ace it?
First, carefully research the company and product. Make sure you have visited their website – more than once – so you are conversant in who they are and what their history is. Be prepared to bring what you know to the forefront with maybe a few questions, or bringing up the information during the conversation; that will show you saw their website – were impressed by it — and that you absorbed the content beyond a look-see.
Be familiar with the product. The company website only provides one half of the information you need to know. Simply google the product – see what it looks like, where it is sold, who it hangs with – what other brands are sold along side it, how much it costs – and the most impressive step you can take is to visit retailers live and see the product in the flesh. Again, be prepared to show your knowledge as you talk with the interviewer and perhaps a few questions about the product.
Review the job description carefully. Be prepared to talk about how your background fits the role — very very well. Be prepared to speak from the perspective of how your employment will benefit their company, and not the other way around.
Probe the recruiter’s mind. What do they know first-hand about the company, product, players, etc.? What is the personality of the interviewer? What is their interview style? What do they know about what is expected in an employee beyond the job description? These are questions you must proactively ask as part of your research, so reach out to us and we will fill in the blanks.
What to say and not to say: 1.) Be complimentary of the potential employer’s business, product, website, etc. and 2.) Do not trash previous employers or colleagues. If asked why you left a previous position, do not discuss how someone lead to your leaving. There is always another reason. Being laid off from a downsizing is something you can indicate; being let go happens – but usually because the company has decided to go in a different direction. Call out the positives and take accountability for what you did next: “Although I was let go, it was a chance for me to really figure out what type of employment would allow me to use my experience to the benefit of my new employer. In what role, and at what type of company, I would be a valued player. I pursued further education.” The latter of which is important to do if you are ever without a job.
The vibe to give off: It is a turn off in any situation to deal with someone who comes across cocky. At the same time, be professional and don’t overshare. Don’t talk about personal information such as your childhood, health problems, divorce, financial situation, anger at your last employer, etc. These topics trigger red flags and can be mutually uncomfortable, turning the interview into a counseling session. Stay on topic. If probed for that information, take a light approach and tell them that your background is quite interesting but too much to cover in the interview. It can happen if the interviewer feels comfortable with you.
How to look. Although you may think this part can be done last minute, it will help you immensely to plan this out. In our industry, a contemporary stylish black pantsuit with a white blouse is your safest bet. Accessorize with items that are the product of the employer you are visiting, close to it, or something beautiful and formal. Be wary of making too much of a statement. In other words, scrap the orange beads or neon green tie for more sedate colors. Given we are in the fashion business, even the shoes, the socks and the purse and briefcase are important parts of the whole picture. Make sure they are stylish, recently purchased and clean!
Your hair is also an accessory. Make sure it is not only styled well but is comfortable to you. You want to feel confident and hair – let’s face it – can do that for you. Make it look beautiful. Treat yourself to a wash-and-dry at a salon.
Bring with you a nice briefcase that is in great shape and a brand that reflects the potential employers business – or – a timeless briefcase that is classic. The purse – same thing. But here is the kicker: bring two copies of your resume on nice white paper stock and make sure your papers are fresh, flat, not dogeared or discolored and not ruffled.
Be prepared travel-wise: put in that nice briefcase or purse the name of the interviewer, their title, company name, address including suite, zip code and phone number. Look at your transportation route the night before, and be prepared to arrive 10 minutes early, so time yourself for the commute plus extra time in case of traffic. Don’t be late, but if there is something that was out of your control that prevented you from being on time, and make sure this is an act of nature, then call them before you are due to arrive, not after.
Eat something healthy before you go. It feeds your brain, keeps your energy up and your stomach won’t rumble during the interview.