Monday, 9 March 2015

Job Interview Survival Guide

It does feel fantastic to finally be able to get this blogpost up and tell you all that I've been job hunting for a little while now, it's something that I find really, really daunting after being unemployed for 2 months over 2 years ago so I try and make sure that everything goes ridiculously smoothly and I don't overlook anything. Here are just a few little tips that I always follow prior to a job interview that make me feel calmer and more prepared and then after if my handbag survival kit that I always carry on me.


1. Prepare - They will likely ask you why you want to work for them and having a precise answer makes them know that you mean it and have genuinely looked into their company.

2. Be early - I normally like to be in the carpark 25/20 minutes early and then walk in 15 minutes prior to my interview. I also leave double the amount of time I usually would, you never know if there might be an accident or roadworks!

3. First impressions count - Can they see the carpark from their office? I also try to ensure that my car is clean and that I am courteous when driving on their property. Let other people pass in front of you, take your time driving around and abide by any speed limits and just think how you're representing yourself.

4. Dress Smartly - I have never turned up for a job interview in anything less than smart black trousers and a nice top, and I prefer to wear a smart dress and blazer. Even if you know you'll be wearing jeans once you start, it's nice to make an effort unless they state otherwise.

My Interview Handbag Essentials.

1. Lint Roller - Living with two dogs, you can put something on that's brand new or clean from the wash and still turn up with the odd dog hair attached, especially if you're wearing tights. I always generally carry a lint roller on me anyway but I won't leave for an interview without one as they help to make me feel polished and presentable.

2. Natural Nails - This is purely personal preference however darker nails are far more noticeable should they smudge or chip and it's always sods law that it'll happen as you pull into their carpark. My essential items are all about creating as little for your to worry about as possible whilst still looking your best so I like to go for a nude or natural nail look so it's less obvious should the worst happen.

3. Smelling of Roses - I either turn to Lanvin Me or Signorina for my job interview, Lanvin will still be noticeable after you leave and Signorina is a very classy and pretty fragrance. You don't want to overpower them as soon as you walk in but obviously you want them to think you smell nice.

4. Minty Fresh - Possibly a little obvious but I always carry polos or chewing gum on me and make sure I have some just before I walk in, you want to present yourself as well as possible and on my last interview I had to do a job shadow that meant sitting next to someone for an hour. I don't want to be worrying about what I had for lunch when I'm trying to relax and make a good impression.

5. Blend away - I don't know about you, but whenever I'm on my way to an important meeting, date, or interview I always notice that one of my eyes isn't as blended as it could have been. For that reason, I'll always carry a MAC 217 in my handbag to quickly fix any mishaps, once you're in your car and on your way to the interview it's normally too late to fix any makeup mishaps so I find it gives me peace of mind that should I have made a mistake I can easily fix it on my way.

6. Tweezers - This might sound like another weird one but I genuinely sat a little down the road from my last interview and found some more pesky eyebrow hairs that I hadn't managed to get. This isn't exclusive to job interviews as I find I can always see more when in my car than at my dressing table but as I've said before, I like to feel 100% polished and ready for my interview so being able to quickly nip away any pesky strays before I go in.

7. Lip Perfection - I never, ever go for a bold lip when attending an interview for many reasons. I want to be remember for being right for the job and that reason only, not because I rocked up with a dark purple lip and had half of it on my teeth. And I can't be doing with sitting there worrying if that's happened. The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector's are perfect for a job interview in my opinion as they give you a hint of colour and a natural sheen without you having to worry that it'll end up all over your face.

8. Softly Softly - How do you start a job interview? If you're like me it's always with a handshake to everyone in the meeting. I've had many a handshake before from people with rough hands before and it's not pleasant. I always exfoliate my hands prior to a manicure anyway and then ensure I use my Clarins Hand & Nail treatment just before I leave and usually as I pull into the carpark. It's your first point of contact with them so it needs to be perfect.

As I said earlier, this is all purely my opinion. I like to wear a dark or bold lip every now and then but I know that when I do, I worry if it's smudged or gone on to my teeth and when in an interview environment I need to be able to focus on what I'm saying rather than if my magnificent makeup has gone astray. It may sound bad but first impressions really do count and they will take all of your appearance in very quickly so I like to make sure it's as fuss free whilst still looking pretty and classic as possible. Chipped nails, unkempt eyebrows and the odd dog hair can be distracting for the interviewer and they want to be confident you'll represent their company well and will take as much pride in your work as you do in your appearance. It all equates into building a picture of you as a person in a rather short space of time so you want to make an impact for all of the right reasons!

My beautiful Friend, Chloe, has recently written a similar post from the perspective of the employer that you may also find useful if you're considering going for an interview. Check it out here.

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