The Do’s and Don’t of Interviews

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Whether it is for your next job or your dream college, everyone will go through the interview process at least once in their lifetime. To help you out in light of on-going college and summer internships interviews, The Fourcast’s Video Editor Emily Fuller has compiled a relevant list of what to do during an interview – and what not to do.

What to Bring

  1. A blazer, heels and an umbrella, in case of rain, are critical to looking professional and competent when entering an interview.
  2. Having your resume and identification at the ready are pivotal to making any interview run smoothly.
  3. Coming prepared with extra lipstick or lip-gloss as well as breath mints will assure you look and feel professional during the interview.

What to Wear

  1. Know the culture of the company when walking into a job or internship interview. Make it clear that you can fit in.
  2. When in doubt, err on the conservative side.
  3. Better to be overdressed than under-dressed.
  4. Large or colorful earrings, necklaces or rings should be worn with other understated pieces.
  5. Clothes should not be too tight or too loose and those that cover your knees and shoulders are preferable.
  6. In the workplace, makeup should be balanced. If you wear bright lipstick, go easy on the eye shadow, and vice versa. Harvard studies even show that the more makeup worn correlates with your co-workers’ perception of your competence. A natural balance is key in the workplace. It is really about your overall presentation and ability to look put-together and not over-done.

What to Do

  1. Plan ahead. Arrive at least five minutes early to show respect for their time.
  2. Do your research. You want to know as much as you can about the company or college you are interviewing for (as the Scouts say, “Be Prepared.”).
  3. Come prepared with questions and talking points relevant to the position you are applying for.
  4. A strong handshake is vitally important to being perceived as professional and sets the tone for the interview.
  5. Maintain eye contact and try not to let your eyes wander around the room.
  6. Sit fully in your chair. Avoid slouching and sitting on the edge of your seat.

What Hockaday Recommends

  1. Junior Hannah Sung, who has held positions at LF and Pacsun clothing stores, says to “always smile. Try to make a joke – you will seem more confident.”
  2. According to Susan Brower, Hockaday’s Director of Communications, “A functional tote bag will always make you look more professional.” She also feels a functional tote bag makes anyone look more professional.

“Plan the day ahead, so that you are not rushed and panicked. Be respectful of their time by arriving at least five minutes early.” Brower said.

Form II mother and Assistant United States Attorney, Heather Rattan, gives the pro tip to go to the college or company website and mimic the style of the students or employees.

  1. According to Rattan, business casual for a woman is defined as a “knee-length skirt or dress pants with a shirt that has sleeves and a collar.” She believes pearls pull together a professional outfit. Specifically, interviewees should steer clear of anything too tight, short, revealing or casual.
  2. “A good rule in ‘business casual’ is: No one wants to see too much of a colleague’s body – including feet.” Rattan said.
  3. It is critical to know the culture of the organization for an interview, because interviewers look to see if their candidate would integrate into the company nicely.
  4. Hannah Sung suggests always entering an interview well-prepared. “In retail, the interviewer will certainly ask you about your favorite brands the store carries, so be ready for anything and do your research and know the product,” Sung said.
  5. “Let what you have done speak for itself, do not overcompensate by trying to draw attention to your outfit,” Brower said. Only accessorizing with things that will absolutely add to the outfit is important to both Brower and Rattan.
  6. Sung advises going into an interview with a smile and as much confidence as you can, despite any nerves you may have.

– Emily Fuller – Video Editor –