There is one daunting question that every job-seeker wishes they had the answer to: “What will get me hired?” Liz Ryan, a writer, coach, and former human resources manager, has your answer:
“It doesn’t have to do with the job-seeker’s resume, clothes, age, nationality, price tag, patter, track record, or educational credentials. The people who get hired were people who came to the match-making process to learn more, not to please anyone.”
While your resume is important to get you in the door and your clothing is important to make a great first impression (and make sure the interviewer doesn’t write you off right away!), these aren’t the things that get you hired.
Based off of the information Liz Ryan gives us in her Forbes article, here are a few tips to help get you hired:
- Arrive a little early. Drive the route ahead of time, so you know exactly how long it will take you to get there. Arrive 5-10 minutes earlier than your interview time. Being late will guarantee your failure.
- Be genuinely curious about the position and company. Don’t ask questions just to show off that you have done research on the company. Instead, ask thoughtful questions that you honestly want the answer to.
- Show that you can make a difference in the company. Don’t be overly confident (i.e. “Your search is over!”), but make sure the HR manager gets the feeling that you truly feel that you would make a difference if hired. If you believe it, they’ll believe it.
- Ask questions that will help you decide if you want to be hired. An interview shouldn’t be a one-way street. When you get a chance to ask questions, it is your turn to interview the company. Take this chance to get to understand the opportunity being presented to you so you can decide whether or not it works for you. HR managers will see that you aren’t just looking for that “gold star” but are genuinely interested.
- Don’t try to convince them that you deserve the job. Don’t spend every ounce of your energy trying to fit the job or prove that you deserve it. If you truly fit, they will see it. The more you try, the less you will stand out. As Liz Ryan says “People who hire the most grovelly and fearful candidates are fearful people themselves. What can you learn from someone like that?”
- Let your personality shine. HR managers interview a lot of people at what time. At the end of the day, you don’t want your interviewer asking themselves “Did I meet that person?”
If you noticed a pattern in the 6 tips above, you aren’t crazy. The pattern is “be genuine”! If you truly want the job and you are truly interested in it for reasons other than the paycheck, following the 6 tips above will be easy, if not natural. When hiring managers get the feeling of a person who truly, truly wants the job… those people are often the ones who get hired.
The term “Dress for Success” is famous for a reason. Your appearance is what makes a first impression, and whether we like it or not, first impressions play a big part when it comes to interviews. Often, a bad first impression causes hiring managers to write a person off (whether they mean for it to or not) and while it isn’t the only factor, most companies aren’t going to hire somebody who can’t dress appropriately.
If you aren’t fashion forward, have no fear. Here are 10 quick tips on how to dress for success when it comes to interviews:
- Research the company’s culture and dress code. While in some industries the dress code is self-explanatory (i.e. accountants are always in professional dress), other industries may not be so. If you are unsure what the dress code may be, you have a few options:
– Call the company’s HR department or receptionist and ask them.
– Look at a company’s website to see if you can get a feel for their culture or if there are any photos of the staff.
– Dress professionally anyway. You can never overdress for an interview.
- Invest in a power outfit. While people may not immediately notice how put together you are, they will notice if you are not. Therefore, it is smart to invest in at least one power outfit, if not a few, to wear to your interviews. A power outfit is an outfit that is appropriate for the industry you will be working in, professional, and comfortable.
- Invest in comfortable, work appropriate shoes. Shoes can make or break an outfit. Even if you are dressed magnificently, scuffed or outdated shoes are noticeable and will effect your overall appearance. It’s also important to make sure these shoes are comfortable and easy to walk in. Women should wear low, conservative, closed-toe heels or “power flats” while men should wear a pair of loafer or lace-up dress shoes.
- Test-drive your outfit. Not only should you practice your interview answers, you should also practice wearing your interview outfit. You need to make sure you are comfortable sitting and walking in it. The more comfortable you are, the more confident you will seem.
- Make sure your outfit fits well and is dry-cleaned. Your outfit should fit perfectly. If not, it doesn’t hurt to have it tailored to fit your exact body. The better it fits, the more put together you will look. It is also important to dry-clean your outfit, as it will eliminate all wrinkles and let the color shine.
- Do not wear fragrances. You never know if your interviewer will have any allergies or be fragrant-sensitive. When it comes to perfumes, colognes, and scented lotions and deodorants, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Accessorize. While accessorizing may not be your forte, it is important in completing your outfit. When it comes to accessories, it is best to stay simple. Ladies should wear a few pieces of jewelry (nothing too large, distracting, or flashy), neutral colored nail polish, and natural looking make-up. Men should wear a watch (nothing too large, sparkly, or flashy) and, if they would like, one ring.
- Be aware of your posture and body language. The most important things in appearing confident is good posture, a strong handshake, and appropriate body language.
- Make sure you are well groomed. Your hair should be washed, simple, and neat, your fingernails should be clean and well manicured, your eyebrows should be well-groomed, and men should be freshly shaven.
- Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Even after you get the job, it’s important to continue dressing as professionally, comfortably, and appropriately as possible. It’s important to remember the phrase “Dress for the job you want”. If you aspire to be management dress how your manager dresses, not how your colleagues dress.