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Job Magician Interview Do's & Don'ts  

Dress right.  A suit or the woman’s equivalent is still the best interview garb.  If being dressed that well will turn off your potential employer because they are heavy into business casual (and you’ve done enough research to confirm this about your potential employer), dress a step better than your interviewer will be dressed.  But beware.  I was once interviewed by a business owner wearing jeans and hiking boots; I wore a suit, and when we spoke later on in the interview about how I should have dressed, he told me that he would have had no respect for me if I had been dressed as casually as he was. By the way, if you feel you are fashionably challenged, go to this site for endless information on dressing right: Ask Andy About Clothes.

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Put away your cell phone.  People actually check their Blackberrys and take cell phone calls when I interview them.  If you’re a doctor on call, or there is a catastrophe at the plant (it better be of armageddon proportions) that you need to be kept aware of, tell the interviewer about this ahead of time.  Otherwise, you simply will not get the job.

No booze.  It’s best not to drink at all if you’re having lunch or dinner during an interview, even if your host does.

No smoking.  Don’t smoke before the interview, on breaks between interviews, and certainly not during the interview.  You want to smell good, and not offend the non-smokers.

No swearing. Once again, don’t, even if your interviewer does.

Haircut. If you’re a man, a trim is a must.  Also, mod length hair or a beard can turn some people off, so why not get rid of these? (At least until after you’re hired)…  

       Long hair and earrings on men will make people think you’re a rock star, not an executive; brush cuts on women will make people think you’re emulating Britney Speers.  Express your individuality in other ways than your hair.

Your Car.  Some can afford to drive a Mercedes and some can't or don't choose to, but regardless of the caliber of your car, make sure it's clean.  Keep the outside washed, and the inside vacuumed and orderly.  You may think this is unimportant, but your potential boss may see your car, either inadvertently or intentionally, and you'll be marked down if it looks bad.  

 






And for a couple of general tips:

Home phone.  Be careful of how your kids answer the phone – they are a reflection on you.  And make sure your home answering machine has a short, direct and understandable message on it.  No cutesy messages with the song Beechwood 4-5789 playing in the background or one of those messages that repeats the phone number you just dialed (I always wonder if I’ve reached the right person when I get one of those).  Better yet, get a separate line put in your house while you’re job-hunting.  And please, no call waiting.  I hate getting put on hold, or having to listen to those beeps when I’m talking to a candidate and she gets repeated other calls that she ignores.

Emails. These are business correspondence, and need to be perfect.  If you want to make yourself look dumb, sloppy or both, have grammar, spelling or punctuation errors in your emails.


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