Looking for a job is a job in and of itself. If you are new to the career world, looking to change jobs or have recently been let go by a company, looking for a job is very similar to working at an eight hour a day job. This is especially true in the beginning stages of your job hunt. The job hunt can take time, so do not get discouraged if you haven’t heard from companies right away. The hiring and interview process has changed over the years and the process takes a longer time than ever before. When you do get an in-person interview, you want to be dressed to impress and to “sell” yourself and your past work.
Starting Your Job Search
Before you go on that in-person interview, you need to get all of the “behind the scenes” things done such as create a resume, post on job boards and network!
- Resumes need to be created, updated, reviewed and posted on job boards and social networks such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and Glassdoor.
- Start applying for jobs that are on the job boards. Depending on your field, the job market in Cleveland has really opened up with more jobs becoming available in many industries.
- Keep track of the jobs that you have applied for on a spreadsheet. Also track who the hiring manager is, follow-ups, phone calls and interviews.
- Ask friends, family, mentors and co-workers to be a reference. Compile the list and keep it handy to use when filling out online applications and to give to a hiring manager.
- Create and perfect your 30 second elevator pitch about your skills. Make a video of this pitch that can be sent to perspective employees.
- Start or boost your networking within your industry and at networking events.
- Go suit shopping to purchase your “interview” suit and accessories.
Depending on the work that you are looking for and your current background, it could take a few weeks to start getting phone calls from perspective employers. The first interview is usually a general conversational or screening phone call with the Human Resources team of the company or the person doing the hiring for the position. The next step would be the in-person interview. If you qualified for the in-person interview, then it is time for you to shine and make the best first impression on the person (or people) that you are interviewing with. The interview could last up to a few hours depending on the variety of people that you will talk to at the company.
Dressing for an Interview
According to Monster, dressing for an interview isn’t as hard as you think that it would be. A majority of companies dress casual or business casual, but this doesn’t mean that you should go into an interview with khaki’s and a polo shirt. Do some investigating and ask the interviewer about the style of dress for the office. It is suggested to dress one or two levels higher than the position that you are interviewing for. Other than presenting your skills and how they are a great match for the job, you want to impress the hiring manager with your style. Showing up in a suit or wearing a jacket gives the appearance of caring about the interview and will give an overall great first impression. In order to “dress to impress”, you should follow these tips for your interview attire:
- The classic navy suit is recommended for job interviews. The suit should be tailored and look crisp, classic and clean. The jacket should have two to three buttons and should not be double breasted.
- If a suit is not required, stay with a classic look of grey dress pants, light blue shirt, simple tie and a navy blazer.
- Wear a white tailored, ironed, cotton button-down shirt with your navy suit. If you are going back for more in person interviews, then you can add a bit of color to the shirt or switch out to a dark gray suit.
- Ties should be conservative with a neat and simple pattern. Recommended colors are burgundy, navy blue or green. Avoid wearing anything overly bright or statement making. Make sure that the tie knot is correct and not loose.
- Keep accessories, such as jewelry, to a minimum. Watches should be classic and not sporty.
- Black lace-up shoes are more conservative and can be paired with black socks. Make sure the shoes have been cleaned and shined.
Interview Grooming Tips
To go along with wearing the classic suit, it is important to be properly groomed for your in-person interview. Below are a few tips for grooming for the interview day:
- Have your hair cut or trimmed a few days before the interview. Make your appointment with Men’s Cuts as soon as you have set up the date and time for your interview.
- If you have a mustache or beard, make sure they are neatly trimmed for the interview. The stylists at Men’s Cuts can trim your beard and mustache to an interview presentable length.
- If you are clean-shaven, shave the morning of the interview. Try not to cut yourself as that will not make a good first impression.
- Nails should be clean and properly cut.
- A small amount of cologne is fine, but don’t overdo it. The person that you are interviewing with might have an aversion to scents, so you do not want to go overboard.
Dressing “up” gives you confidence as well as motivation to be your best for your in-person interview. Interviewees making the right impression will get the attention of the hiring manager and help boost their status in the interview process. Job hunting and interviewing isn’t easy, but having self-confidence going into the interview goes a long way! Good Luck on your job hunt!