How are you? I’ve missed all of you so, so much! Say hi if you have the time ❤
Today I’m going to a job interview. I’m not actively looking for a job because I haven’t yet decided if I’m going back to my business (if I can handle the stress) and I have no idea when I’ll be alright and cleared to work.
I decided to send some resumes and see what kind of answers I would get. I answered to different ads from different fields and positions (all according to my experience and knowledge, of course). I was contacted by a lady who is looking for a tutor for her tutoring center. For middle school kids, I think. I have plenty of experiences with such ages and kind of hate them, but that’s not a problem.
So I’ll obviously go to the interview. Thank God I bought a few nicer and more formal pieces of clothing last week (you’ll get a shopping haul). I have a very good curriculum, because I have experience in many different fields: teacher, tutor, personal assistant, librarian, retail, food industry, call center, childcare etc. And I do, obviously, know how to run a successful business and combine that with school. I’m a good organizer in general but also with my time. Before I had my business I was actually doing 4 jobs, along with 5 courses each semester at university. I was working part-time at H&M, I was a nanny for two kids, 2 and 4, I was a teacher at a senior citizen university and I was tutoring.
One of my jobs as a private teacher was to prepare people for job interviews, in English. I acquired that knowledge from a wonderful English professor who taught us everything about such topics, presentations, meetings, etc.
Since I have a job interview today, I thought I might share my tips for a successful job interview. This is what works for me and most people. You are more than welcome to disagree or share your own tips in the comment section.
How to succeed at a job interview
- Be very careful when choosing your outfit. If you’re not sure if you should dress formally (like wearing a suit) you are allowed to ask the dress code. It’s usually casual-chic, which means no jeans, no t-shirts and no sneakers.
- Men should wear a button down shirt, pants and semi-formal shoes. If you feel like it, you can wear a casual blazer.
- Women can choose to wear a shirt or a somewhat formal blouse, blazer or no blazer, pants, skirt or dress, heels or flats. They should, however, be very careful with their outfit of choice. Nothing too short (above the knee is acceptable), nothing that will show too much cleavage (your boobs shouldn’t be hanging out), simple makeup and just a tiny bit your perfume. (You don’t want to be known as the lady with lipstick on her teeth and that left the room smelling like Chanel number 5 for the whole afternoon). If you choose to wear heels, make sure you know how to walk in them.
- In my opinion, neutral colors are the right choice. You don’t want them to remember you by your lettuce green shirt or bright pink blouse. While in the selection process, they should remember you by how well you did.
- You should always carry your resume with you. Of course they have it, but it shows that you’re prepared. You should also carry a small notebook and a pen or two, in case you need to take some notes. You don’t want the human resources lady to think you’re not that interested or not prepared at all.
- Don’t raise your voice too high or laugh like you’re having a beer with your mates and someone just farted. You need to be discreet, calm and collected. Be nice, but not overly excited. You can smile and laugh but in a more contained way.
- Wait for the person to offer you their hand, not the other way around. Then, give a firm handshake (too soft and it will seem like you lack confidence, too tight and you might hurt someone and piss them off)
- Be careful about titles. If you don’t know, prior to the interview, what form of treatment you will use towards the person you’ll be talking, make sure to ask right away.
- Give confident and positive answers. Sell yourself a little without looking arrogant or entitled.
- Don’t mention money or salary until they do. It’s okay to negotiate. They always offer a lower number than the one they can spend on you. Be brave and say “Well, according to my experience and background, I think it would be fair to raise the offer to xx”
- This one is a cliché but really, when they ask for some character flaw or weakness, give a positive note to something negative.
- Turn of your phone, it’ll be a distraction if it keeps buzzing on your bag or pocket.
- If they offer you something to drink, always ask for water instead of coffee or tea. Even if you spill some it won’t be a disaster;
- Don’t take too long to answer a question. Speak slowly and choose your words carefully but no “huumms” and “uhhhhs”.
- Never, ever, show or mention political views, religious preferences and anything that might offend someone. You don’t know the person sitting in front of you.
- Always look people in the eyes and never look distracted. Be focused at all times.
- Never cross your arms. Hold your hands together in front of you and keep a good posture.
- Be there about 15 minutes early and live home very early. If it takes you half an hour to get there, leave home an hour before the set time.
- Don’t look at your watch. Are you in a rush? No. It’s not polite.
- Make sure you have all of your hobbies (unless you collect vibrators or go skinny dipping every night) in your resume. They’re good conversation starters and make you look interesting and versatile.
So, these are my tips. I may have forgotten a thing or two or thirty, but I hope they are helpful anyway. I would love if you shared some of your interview rules, tips and tricks.
Thank you so much for reading.
See you soon.