Professional Staffing Blog

Got the interview? Make it great. Insider tips from a staffing expert.

Whether you’re a recent college grad, someone seeking to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus or a casualty of downsizing, it’s clear that more people are competing for fewer jobs than ever before. In this increasingly competitive job market, it’s important that you use every opportunity to make yourself stand out.

In my role as managing director of Professional Staffing, I interact with candidates, both by phone and in person, for much of each day. My position is unique in that I not only staff for Skoda Minotti but also serve as an executive recruiter for external companies that contract with me to handle their search.

Here are some key tips to give you the upper hand in your quest for the ideal position, whether you’re hoping to work here or at another company.

Tip: Do your homework. There are many online sources to help with this, including Google, LinkedIn and the company’s corporate website. You can learn about the organization’s history (is it a private or public company? Was there a merger in the past?), about the leadership and about recent media coverage. Show me that you’ve put some time into researching the company you’re hoping to join.

Tip: Look good, feel great. It’s vital that you dress the part when seeking employment. Of course you’ll ensure your hair is clean and your clothes lack both spots and wrinkles. Now take it a step beyond. Is your wardrobe suitable to the organization with which you’ll be interviewing? The edgy skirt that works well for ad agencies might not be eyed favorably at a law firm.

It’s the same with body art. The piercings and tattoos that wouldn’t cause a game application developer to blink could, potentially, remove you from consideration when interviewing with a public policy organization. If you’re not sure about how your body art will be received, err on the conservative side: remove the piercings and cover the tattoos until you are familiar with the organization’s vibe.

As for feeling great, interpret this precisely. If you have a head or chest cold that has you wheezing and blowing your nose, do yourself– and your recruiter — a favor and reschedule. You won’t present yourself in the best light if you’re sick, and you don’t want to be remembered as the applicant who brought the virus into the office. And though it seems obvious, please don’t eat a strongly spiced meal the night before. Table the garlic, onions and curries – your recruiter and your scheduled interviewers will be grateful.

Next week: You’re ready to begin interviewing. Now what?

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