Prepare for the Interview

InterviewingRecruiting season is upon us and as we visit local and regional colleges and universities, we are meeting many fine students, eager to enter the working world.  We want to take this opportunity to pass along some helpful advice, so you are prepared when your cover letters (and resumes) work as they should, and you receive coveted interview invitations.

  • Begin by asking the person arranging the interview the name(s) of the persons with whom you will be meeting.
  • Ask if there is parking, or where they would recommend you park
  • Conduct a drive by before your interview so you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there.
  • Research the company. Have they been in the news lately? Review their website, learn the company’s philosophy, history, culture and read about the people with whom you will be meeting. Most professionals have a LinkedIn profile; see if you have any mutual connections.
  • Arrive early (not too early, but 10 to 15 minutes early is ideal), anticipate traffic and hiccups that sometimes happen when commuting. If an emergency does happen, be sure to call and let the company know your situation. Most companies are very understanding.
  • Use a firm handshake, speak clearly, make eye contact, and listen well.
  • Take a take second to think about how you want to answer a question before you begin speaking; be careful not to interrupt your interviewer. It is okay to ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.
  • During the interview, be sure to ask questions about the firm, particularly anything you want to know that you did not discover when researching the company. For example:
    • How long have you been working here?
    • Why did you join the company?
    • Why do you enjoy working here?
    • What are the goals of this position?
    • Where do you think the right candidate will be five years from now?
    • What types of duties and responsibilities should I expect in the position?
    • What sort of travel does this position require?
    • What is the anticipated start date?

What to Wear for a Job Interview
Knowing what to wear for a job interview can sometimes be half the battle of the interview itself. The old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” certainly holds true. We would recommend playing it safe. Research the culture of the firm to get a sense of their expectations. We suggest you:

  • Dress up. It projects that you respect the company and the profession. If you are interviewing in a non-professional field, mirror what their management team wears.
  • Present yourself neatly. Make sure your clothes are clean and neatly ironed. Nothing gives away the lack of attention to detail more than wrinkled, dirty or ill-fitting clothing.
  • Practice good grooming and hygiene – be sure you have clean hair, fingernails, fresh breath, deodorant, etc. Neatly style/comb your hair. Men, if you have facial hair, be sure to give it a trim/comb through ahead of the interview, so that you look as neat as possible.
  • Use perfume and aftershave sparingly, so that it is not overpowering.
  • Keep makeup and jewelry subtle.
  • Accessorize smartly, and keep things simple. For example, if you are carrying a bag, a smart briefcase or handbag is a better option than a backpack. Shoes should be clean (polished) and in good shape. Keep heels at a sensible height.
  • Turn your phone off, or at least turn the sound off and put it away.
  • Follow up the interview with a personal thank you note to all of the individuals with whom you met.

Once you have landed the job, your appearance still matters. Be sure to ask your new employer what their expectations are about wardrobe. They will certainly be able to offer you additional guidance. The way you present yourself plays a role in how you are perceived, and could be a factor in the advancement of your professional career.

Please email any questions you may have about career opportunities at Piccerelli, Gilstein & Company, LLP.