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Joined: 1 Nov 2007
Gender: Female
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Location: Michigan

22 Mar 2018, 11:02 am

I thought I would share some of the stuff I learned doing in person interviews again to help other people out:

Dress one step up from what is typically work at that workplace unless they specifically tell you how to dress. One place literally responded with "we dress casual but we hope you dress a little better than that for a job interview" so one step up is "business casual" which is a look appropriate for most job interviews except very high ranking ones where you want to wear a suit. You can look up these different styles online.

Wear clothes that flatter you. I am a 250, 5'9" woman so I have an interview shirt with vertical stripes that puts the emphasis on "tall" rather than "heavy". Also color coordinate, everything I'm wearing is black and red, even my makeup and hair tie.

You don't have to spend a lot to look nice. I have a limited budget, nobody will know if you got your clothes from a thrift store or even a free store. And dollar store makeup and perfume will look/smell just as nice.

Make sure you are wearing deodorant and you don't have bad breath.

During the actual interview play up your strengths! If a weakness of yours comes up, follow it with a strength.

There are plenty of books and websites with common interview questions and how you should answer them. Employers want to hear how you would be valuable to their company above else. Don't say stuff like "please hire me, I really need the money!"

Crazy Bird Lady

My dove in my plant!

FINALLY diagnosed with ASD Level 1 2/6/2020


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Joined: 31 Dec 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 628
Location: Home

23 Mar 2018, 2:25 pm

Great idea for a thread and great tips.

Some other thoughts that I can add (I've been on both ends of the table):
Have a look at online articles with examples of interview questions. Try answering them to yourself before hand. If any really good answers come up, make notes.

If you have one, bring a nice notebook with you with any notes that you want to bring (reminders of past experiences, good answers from idea above, questions that you want to ask etc). It's better if this is not just a messy spiral notebook with pieces of paper still in the rings. If you don't have like a leather folder/portfolo thing you can bring some loose leaf paper in a manila folder. Make sure that you have some blank paper to make notes when you ask questions.

Do research on the company and position ahead of time, try to know something about the job you're applying for so that you can sound informed. When someone seems like they know what there in for it's interesting and appealing to a hiring manager. It also makes you seem more experienced.

Prepare 2-4 questions that put you in a good light. Research online for help in this area. If a candidate asks me something about the type of culture of the team then I know they're interested in being a team player. It'll also give you a feel for how the team works to warn you if perhaps there might be issues. Well thought out questions that show you're interested in how the job really is really puts you at an advantage as a candidate. Take notes on the answers to the questions. It shows that you really want to know the answers (note, you should only ask questions that actually matter). If a note is especially long and causes you to have to look away, politely ask "you don't mind if I make a few notes do you?"... It's stupid that people need this, but for some reason it makes them feel better. In my job when I am interviewing a candidate I have to take a ton of notes, our packets tell us upfront to let the candidate know that we're taking notes even though they can see right there what were doing.

Don't be nervous about being nervous. There are two parts to this. The first is, the other person knows that interviews make people anxious. If you find yourself sounding obviously nervous don't let the nerves make it worse. Just know that it's part of the process and there is no reason to count that against you unless the hiring manager is looking for Rico Suave. The second, believe it or not... hiring managers sometimes get nervous during interviews too! There is a lot of pressure to put a candidate at ease and to try to make sure that you're hiring the right person. If you make the wrong hiring choice that can really cause havoc to the business. I know that I get butterflies in my stomach each time I interview someone... I try to hide it, but it's there.

Oh... and if it's the right kind of environment... thank you letters after can be a nice touch. I think this depends on the role, industry, and level of contact that you have, but it definitely shows a "I know how to do this interview stuff" attitude. Not everyone sends thank you letters, but it's kind of one of those less known things, it shows that you've researched interviewing and put a lot of effort into it. Putting a lot of effort into getting a job sometimes translates into putting a lot of effort into doing a job (sometimes) so it can be a good sign for a hiring manager. In some cases this could be too formal, or too difficult to send. For me, I mostly apply internally within my company so I shoot a quick email after saying thanks and outlining a couple of things that I wished I answered differently in the interview. In some cases a hand-written note might be best.

Very high systematizing, low empathy, but moderate to high sympathy.
I do not experience cognitive dissonance reduction the way that other people do.
Professionally diagnosed in March 2018

Sea Gull
Sea Gull

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Joined: 25 Mar 2016
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Posts: 214

26 Mar 2018, 6:51 am

Thank you! I feel like I followed these, but I haven't heard back yet so... :? Might've messed something up.

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