- “What are you wearing?“
- “What else?”
- “Ohhhhhh. I see.”
- “How is it tied?”
- “Just one more question…”
- “How in the hell do you think you’ll do on that job interview looking like that?”
Important People Who Make Their Livings Judging You …Want to Meet You.
Yes, getting ready for the career interview. Perhaps you’re first. Good for you. Shiny new degree. Killer GPA. Internship. And what’s that? Your daddy’s a judge? Nice.
So, guys, you’ll be wearing your gold corduroy from high school graduation, then? Kidding. You probably have a spiffy off-the-rack number from that 3-for-1 place over at the mall. And ladies? Something from your clubbing nights? Toned down with more sensible shoes, no doubt.
Stop. Just stop.
You are about to embark on one, or twelve, or more, of the most important meetings of your life — the career job interview(s). You will be meeting with people who make their livings judging you, poking around in your online presence, running credit checks on you, and calling people you know about your “character.” How’s that for a career?
So unless you’re rolling into the adult world fresh out of a hilltop monastery or sequestered convent, you’ve likely already got a couple of dozen strikes against you. The good news is, many of your brothers and sisters in unemployment have hundreds against them and frankly, employers have to pick someone.
Getting called in for the interview is an excellent step. It means you likely made it into what is called the short stack of candidates, although I don’t believe it’s an actual stack anymore. Either way, from this point on, it’s yours to blow.
So don’t. Here’s how to get started.
Custom. Custom. Custom.
Wearing the clothes for the part is critical. Dressing properly demonstrates self-respect, respect for the people you’re meeting with and provides a snapshot into how you may represent the company interviewing you — should you get hired.
It’s also easy. Go to a custom tailor for this occasion. They will design clothing around you. Your body, curves, no curves, it doesn’t matter. Nothing you are wearing, buying off-the-rack, or made-to-measure will fit as perfectly. Wearing your colors, fabrics, cuts — the tailors will work with you. You will not only benefit from looking outstanding, but you will also be comfortable, and more importantly, confident.
Custom tailors like The Tailory in Manhattan feel your pain. They will design and tailor a first-class, custom business suit for you — men and women — for a very special price and specifically for first-time interview candidates. They even call it The Interview Suit. Call the owner, Chao Yang, at 646.918.7777. She’ll hook you up.
Clean Up Your Act
Online. Now. Facebook, Twitter, wherever else you dwell. Start with getting rid of the obvious. You know, like evidence of felonies or anything depicting anyone unconscious. (Not necessarily mutually exclusive.)
But even the seemingly innocuous transgressions may not seem so innocuous to employers. They just don’t want your baggage. If you’re working for them, and there is questionable material, language, photos, or bad taste connected to you, it’s connected to them. When it is doubt, take it out. Your explanations for having them riddled throughout your social media may be perfectly reasonable, but you’ll probably never get the chance. They’ll see you online before you get there. Just get rid of them.
[There seemed to be a number of apps and online companies offering social media site cleanup through language processing, camera scanning, and other image-based technology, but most of them seem to be in serious beta, on hiatus, or out of business. But keep your eyes open.]
Knowledge is Power.
But you know that. Just look in the right places. Think adult resources like Forbes vs. Mad Magazine. Here is what you’re looking for:
Interviewing Insight. Speaking of Forbes, there’s a great article here. There are plenty of others, but avoid those offered by job boards and sites.
The Company. What has happened where you are interviewing over the past five or 10 years? Who’s who? Reverse the search. Check out the social media of the company principals. How does the company appear financially? Check out Glassdoor.com. Don’t place all of your stock in what their employees have to say, but look for patterns. You may decide the company isn’t right for you before you go.
Etiquette. Seriously. There’s almost always a meal at the adult table, a door that should be held, a thank you note that should be written. It also applies to email, phone calls, and LinkedIn. It’s everywhere, and it should be. If you don’t know how to navigate this area, learn the basics. If you’re not sure if you know how to navigate this area, you probably don’t. Here you go, as a professional courtesy, I Googled it for you.
Keep the faith. This article will be continued.