So you were over the moon for that letter or phone call inviting you for an interview. There are diverse ideas out there by people who have either sat on interview panels or are authorities on the subject. The jury agree that the most important thing is to be knowledgeable about the firm.
Who are they? What do they do? Where are they located? How long have they been in business? What are their strengths and weaknesses? If they have been in the news lately find out what it’s all about. But don’t be trapped to give an opinion, because you might not know the whole story.
When it comes to how to comport yourself before your panel, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being interviewed. What do you wear? Well, it would depend on the culture where you are being interviewed. Note that if you wore a sari in India and you are not Indian, it may not be seen as comportment but perhaps insult. So, be natural.
The universal rule is – be smart. Most firms prefer candidates in a well-ironed shirt and pants (trouser). I have been on a few interview panels where the candidate comes in a suit; sweaty and reeking like a skunk. They have travelled by public transport in 35-degree heat with no opportunity to refresh. Don’t go smelling like a flower garden, it’s offensive, besides most people are allergic to pungent smell.
What are you being interviewed for? If you were not going to work for the bank, where the requirement is to wear suits and ties, by all means get in character. But otherwise, there’s no need donning a suit to interview for the position of a motor mechanic. Heh, don’t go in your soiled overalls either.
Most people say that jeans is not in. I will agree with them even though we’ve found smart ways of wearing jeans. Of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ recommendations I have read, one hilariously stands out – don’t eat beans the day before the interview. But if you have irritable bowel syndrome or some other allergy-induced conditions, make excuses if your tummy rumbles or if you have to itch. You’re human, like the rest of the panelists.
So, best of luck with that next interview.
Smart dressing speaks for itself
Next week I begin a series on Cultural Imperialism, what it means and why it’s the new buzz word in political circles. In the meantime, your experiences and comments are welcome.