I was catching up with a close friend of mine who works in recruiting for retail, marketing and public relations with luxury brands over drinks last week when the topic turned to a few recent interviews she’s conducted. She was incredibly disappointed by almost all of them, especially since her interviewees were recent graduates who she figured would be desperate for the jobs she was looking to fill. When I pried a bit more to learn what exactly set the interviews off, the issues ranged from large problems (“He didn’t ask any questions about the company!”) to tiny, important details (“She dressed like she literally just ran from Econ 101”).
Not to add any pressure to those interviewing this summer for entry level jobs, but it is also so important to remember the little things while prepping yourself for an interview. While being yourself is numero uno, if you keep these points in mind as you present yourself to your future employer you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Watch what you wear – I’m not talking outfit choices, but quality of the clothing you put on. Your heels may be Prada, but if the lifts are worn down and you make an awful clacking sound while you walk, or your purse looks like it went through the washing machine, unfortunately you will be judged. Worry less about making a statement with a brand or style, and more about clean, crisp looks that show off you at your best.
Body language speaks VOLUMES – If you’re slumped in your chair, preening yourself, unable to make eye contact or talk too quietly/mumble, you’re giving off the impression that you don’t care to be at the interview. A few nervous ticks are all right, everyone has been there! Be sure you’re sitting up straight and answering each question clearly. And don’t forget to SMILE! Which leads me to…
Make it a conversation – This is toeing the line of being too casual, but all my best interviews were those where my interviewee turned our meeting into a smart conversation about the open position and my company. As interviewers, we get tired of the same old Q&A and want to learn more about you! Show how you can fit into almost any social situation. If you’re shy, try to find a topic in the interview your passionate on and show off what you know.
A and I did drastically different things this weekend. Adrianna headed to Vegas to celebrate the high holidays (MDW is huge in Sin City), and I went upstate to see my family and do nothing but veg-out. Both versions of our vacation were fulfilling and relaxing, so it’s hard to get back to the grind so quickly.
The key to jumping back into it is staying organized. Whether or not you left yourself a little to-do list at the end of last week, there are a couple things you can do to be sure you get back on top of your game today.
Spend a little time catching up – Don’t think that getting hunkered down at your desk ASAP will prevent a crash later in the day. It’s all right to keep that vacation feeling going for the first 30 minutes of the work day with your colleagues. Ask about activities from the weekend (who did what in the Hamptons?!) and indulge your social side for just a little bit longer.
Write your to-do list as you check email – We are master multi-taskers as PR people. After a long weekend, it’s time to throw this into high gear. Go through your most important emails and write down assignments as they appear in your inbox. Prioritize your tasks for the day after you’ve written everything down.
Check the media – One of the biggest mistakes from a long weekend is thinking the world stopped while you were enjoying the sun. Check your google alerts and monitoring services for any breaking news or mentions that affect your client.
How do you get back in the game after a long weekend?
Yesterday I had a slightly embarrassing experience. In the rush to get out the door in the rain, I put on (what I thought was) a tried and true jersey dress to get to the office. When I arrived, the humidity had actually caused my dress to stretch and showcase just over the appropriate amount of skin.
A good rule of thumb I heard in my office when it comes to summer dressing – “if you’re questioning whether it’s appropriate or not, it probably isn’t.” In case you happen to have a malfunction like I did, here are a couple of things you can easily keep at your desk to avoid summer office faux pas:
Keep safety pins or a sewing kit at your desk – this won’t just help you keep your shirt on, but also helpful if a button goes missing or a hem goes weird
Store shoes under your desk – Though flat sandals are easy and comfy, a client can surprise you with an in-person meeting while you look like you’re headed to the beach. Keep at least one or two pairs of heels in a neutral color under your desk, just in case
A sweater on the back of your chair is your friend – Not only do NYC offices tend to crank up the AC, but if you get to work and realize your bra straps are showing, a cardigan is a must