Tag Archive for interview

Interview Attire Part 1- Men


Have you ever heard the expression, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” The same holds true for interviews as it does in the workplace. You should always err on the side of caution and wear something more formal rather than more casual. You never know what a potential employer will want to see, so a suit is a must!


  • Men: While all men are created equal, all suits are not. For your interview, you need to wear your power suit. Traditionally a black, navy or charcoal will do, and subtle pinstripes are okay too. But unless you are absolutely confident in what attire is acceptable (read: you are interviewing with your mom or dad), then save your summer suits, seersucker and casual attire for later and wear the power suit now.


  • When you buy a suit, it is probably not going to fit you like it should. Most department stores have a tailor that will help fit you for your suit when you buy it. DO NOT forgo this necessity of suiting! You will look silly if you come in with your sleeves or pants too long or too short.


  • Your tie should also be conservative. Think about it—when you see people who are running for president make public appearances, what kinds of ties do they wear? Certainly not the Looney Tunes one your mom gave you when you were a kid. A traditional red or blue tie, possibly a conservatively striped one, is the way to go. Never wear florals, paisleys, etc. And be sure you get the right tie size. That’s right. If you are shorter or taller, your tie sizes are different. Shop accordingly.


  • Save the white socks for the gym and the argyle for the golf course. You must wear dress socks. And if you have trouble telling the difference between those dark brown, navy and black ones, do not be afraid to ask for help!


  • Your shoes should match your belt. And don’t do anything funky either. Always lace ups and never loafers. Be sure to remember that if you have to do a bit of walking, break in your shoes in advance so you can concentrate on your interview and not your aching feet.


  • Get a conservative haircut. Shave before the interview, and don’t be in a hurry because you don’t want to walk in with cuts all over your face. Be sure your hands and nails are clean.


  • Consider not wearing cologne. If you absolutely must, don’t wear much. You never know who will be allergic to the scent or who just won’t like it.


  • No jewelry except wedding rings and maybe a class ring! Nothing should be in your visible piercings and you should not have twelve advocacy bracelets either.


Help translate your college success into interview success by dressing appropriately for your interview. Stay tuned for the next post concentrating on interview attire for women!

Interview Success Part 2


You have your college admissions, scholarship, internship, or job interview coming up so you need some help. Here is the conclusion of the series of ten tips to help you navigate your interview so you can experience interview success. Check out Tuesday’s post for the first five tips!


  • Scan– No, I’m not talking about what you do to get an old picture onto your computer. If there is more than one interviewer, look first at the person who asked you the question, but in the course of answering the question be sure to also look at the other interviewers. When you are almost finished, again concentrate on the person who asked you the question. If you do this, each person will think you spent a ton of time talking to them individually, and they will like it.
  • Practice makes perfect– Go to your college counselor or career office and set up a practice interview. It will help you be less nervous because you can see what an interview will really be like.
  • It’s not a race– When we are nervous, it is natural for us to speak quickly. Some people naturally speak more quickly than others. Wherever you fall, know that in an interview situation you need to concentrate on slowing down. Even if you realize it half way through your answer, it is never too late to slow down.
  • Follow the dress code– Traditionally, an interview requires a suit, but you may be told to wear something like business casual attire. Whatever you wear, err on the conservative side. As I’ve said before, first impressions are very important, so be sure that they don’t automatically hate you because you are dressed inappropriately.
  • Send a thank you note– When you are done with your interview, send a thank you note. It will help them remember you and will make you look good.


So now you are ready for your interview! Good luck!

Interview Success Part 1


Have a college admissions, scholarship, internship, or job interview coming up? This series of posts will give you ten tips to navigate your way through the interview so you can experience interview success. Here are the first five helpful tips:


  • Don’t just answer questions, have a conversation– You want to let the interviewer get to know you, but you also probably want to learn a little more about the school/scholarship program/internship/job so make your interview a conversation and it will be beneficial for all involved!
  • Handshakes and name tags– First impressions are key in an interview. Give a firm handshake while looking your interviewer in the eye. Also, don’t give a limp fish handshake to a woman. Give all people you meet the same handshake, whether a woman or a man—it’s a sign of respect. And if you have to wear a name tag, it goes on your right lapel…no exceptions! The reason is that when you shake someone’s hand, their eyes will follow your arm up directly to your name tag. It helps them remember your name better if they see your name and your face in that initial couple of seconds after meeting you.
  • Do your homework– Yes, you have homework for things other than classes. Be sure you know about the school/scholarship program/internship/job/company you are interviewing with before you walk in the room. It shows you are serious and will allow you to ask more intelligent questions and engage in a more meaningful conversation with the interviewer.
  • Bring your resume– Sometimes interviewers are rushed before the interview and had every intention of bringing your resume to the interview, but something came up and they did not. Have one in case they ask you for it. Some people bring a nondescript folder or padfolio into their interview to keep their resume, a pen and a notepad just in case they need them.
  • Think before you speak– Answer questions intelligently. Sure, when you are talking to your friends you may use words like “um,” “yeah,” “like,” “you know what I mean,” etc., but that is not the way you should speak in an interview. Think before you speak.


Come back later this week for the conclusion of the series and your final five interviewing tips!

Follow Up With Substance

You’ve worked hard to achieve college success and now it is time to start working on finding permanent employment. The job interview goes well. You feel like you made a connection with the interviewer. But then, on your way out, you notice she has six more interviews scheduled after yours. How will she possibly remember you five hours later, or the next day when she decides whom to invite back for the second round? What can you do to help her remember the positive aspects of your interview?

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Extra Work for the Introverted

There’s nothing wrong with being quiet or shy. In fact, the world might be a better place if a few more people fit into that category. Unfortunately our society, including job recruiters, often rewards the more extroverted, aggressive types, making the assumption that quiet equals less capable.

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College Success: Experience Beyond the Internship

Making College Count author Patrick O’Brien shares advice about how to achieve college success both inside and outside the classroom.

College Success – Get Relevant Work Experience

You’re working on college success but you need an internship to be in a position to get a job. Be creative and you can put yourself ahead of your classmates.

Different is Better

When an employer needs to fill a position, recruiting a graduating college student is only one option. In fact, one may wonder why a manager would ever fill a job with a rookie when the market is full of experienced applicants.

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College Success – Pursue Excellence in Extracurricular Activities

Dazzle them with Brilliance

Sure you’re smart. But can you prove it?


“Judgment Day” is coming – the day when you sit across the interview table from a potential employer. You’ll have 30 minutes or so to make a favorable impression on the interviewer, an impression strong enough to lead to additional interviews or even a job offer. Let’s face it, it’s a big deal.

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