Thursday, February 28, 2013

Job Interviews: Part 7—Sitting Down

Today's installment of The Small Essentials of Interviewing may surprise you. But we think it's just another example of making a gesture that might feel subtle but actually speaks volumes. 

After discussing cell phones, perfume, accessories, personal space, hands, and shoes, we're really going to talk about it. Chairs! Or, more precisely...

Part seven: Sitting down.

As in, sitting down in the chair in which you will spend the interview. We do not recommend that you dash into a room and make a beeline for the chair. In fact, if you keep just one word in your head in regards to sitting, it should be this: Wait.

Wait to sit down after you have entered the office, even if your intended chair is obvious. Wait until your interviewer invites you to sit. If they do not offer that invitation, certainly feel free to sit in that obvious chair—but wait until the interviewer is being seated, too.

In a nutshell: patience! It will serve you well in many things, not just when to take your seat. Next time, we'll bring our series to a close by focusing on something that's usually the first big question mark in your mind: your resume. See you then!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Job Interviews: Part Six - The Cell Phone

Today in The Small Essentials of Interviewing, we're going to talk about something that has become very important to people—a device that many cannot imagine living without, let alone leaving behind in another room for any extended of time.

That's right. After discussing perfume, accessories, personal space, hands, and shoes, we're going to talk about...

Part Six: Cell phones.

There's really only one thing to do. Turn off your phone before a job interview. Don't put it on vibrate, don't put it on silent—because then you may feel tempted to at least look at it. In fact, turn off your phone AND put it away somewhere where it is at least temporarily out of mind. Leave it in your bag, in the car, or even at home...just keep it tucked away. 

We'll resist the opportunity to preach about cell phones getting in the way of face-to-face human interaction, especially when the other person is right in front of you! You already know about all that, don't you. And we get it - we love our phones, too - but this is one time where you do not need or want that distraction.

Next time, we'll talk about sitting. Yes, really!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Job Interviews: Part 5 - The Perfume

Welcome back to our new installment in our series, the Small Essentials of Interviewing!

We've talked about  shoes, handspersonal space, and accessories. Now it's time to talk about...

Part Five: Perfume.

For perfume, there's one rule: don't wear any. You never know if your favorite scent - even if you are convinced it's the lightest, most perfect fragrance on earth - will cause an allergic reaction in your future employer. The only way to smell for a job interview is clean, which really means no noticeable smell at all.

Now, that said, there is one exception to this rule - if you are interviewing for a company that produces perfume! In that case, feel free to wear a product created by that company, but do put it on in small doses. A little goes a long way!

Next time, we'll talk about cell phones!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Job Interviews: Part 4 - The Accessories!

It's time for a new post in our Small Essentials of Interviewing Series!

After talking about hands, shoes, and personal space, we're going to explore...

Part Four: Accessories.

When it comes to jewelry, think of one word: simplicity. If it's loud (visually or literally clanking together) or otherwise overpowering, leave it at home. (Unless you're interviewing with a jewelry maker!) Your dazzling personality will get you the job - don't let the jewelry distract from that.

When we teach the "seven rules of accessorizing," we recommend that you never wear a combination of more than seven items. For example, earrings (one in each ear) count as two, a necklace would be three, a watch would be four, a ring would be five, a bracelet would be six, and a belt would be the seventh item. That's enough! (A more masculine version might be: tie, ring, belt, cuff links, tie clip, watch, and pocket square.)

Also, take care to remember those ever-present items that feel like a part of your body — sunglasses on top of your head, for example. Remove sunglasses, baseball caps, and other easily forgettable items before walking into that interview. We once witnessed a young law student - wearing both a baseball cap AND sunglasses on top of the hat - visit a company with which he'd had no previous contact. His resume didn't make it past the secretary.

Come back next time when we talk about another kind of accessory: perfume.