Interview tips that got me hired 3 different times ON THE SPOT!

Updated: May 22, 2019

Photo Credit: Sara Cummins Photography

We are starting interviews at the bridal shop again and it got me thinking about all of the comments, notes, and critiques I have overheard from my bosses and peers over the years regarding interviewers. I have observed preferences on clothing choices, the ideal presentation, and all the things my bosses did NOT want to hear.

Between two bridal shops and sitting through an extensive amount of interviews, I have accumulated my top five tips for any boss lady who is gearing up for this process.

Dress for Success: I will never forget the girl that walked in wearing a plunging romper with a see-through back. My boss let her go through the interview and she left hoping for a callback, and yet the second she walked out the door all anyone could talk about was her outfit. It was a really cute look and she was gorgeous, but it was not the right place or time. Your clothing makes a silent statement for you and you are going to be held to a first impression in most cases. When it comes to interviews I heavily recommend your most professional attire. Walk in looking like the kind of person they want working for them, then let your skills and radiant personality take that interview home.

Bad Answers to Questions:

Why do you want this job? Money

Interviewers don’t want to hear that all you care about is the money. All that means is that you’ll be willing to leave in three weeks if a higher paying job comes along. Every single person could always use more money, so that answer is not going to help you in any case.

What are your hobbies? I work all the time

They don’t want to hear that either. They want to know that you actually have a life and motivation outside of work. They are asking you what makes you unique, how they can relate to you, and what special skills you have that could contribute to your work.

An interviewer is trying to get to know you. They have done this before and they don’t want to hear the same responses that everyone thinks they want to hear. I have been accepted to nearly every job I have interviewed for (three times being on the spot) because I have a lot of outside passions and interests to talk about.

When I interviewed at the first bridal shop I worked at, I told them about how I wanted to be an editor and chief at a wedding magazine. That I wanted to take on the wedding industry and make it my career. That no, selling wedding dresses wasn’t the end goal for me, but I was passionate to learn, and experience as much as I could for future endeavors. I also talked about school and my internship and that I was teaching preschool gymnastics at the time. I let them into my life and showed them exactly who I was and who I aspired to become.

I was 19-years-old, the most professional frock I owned was a Tommy Hilfiger sundress, and my resume was laughable.

I walked into that interview without a shred of experience and yet they hired me that same day because I showed that I had goals, ambition, passion, and I was willing to learn. My managers told me later that they appreciated how I didn’t mention needing the money (even though I was a broke college student), how I owned the fact that I was inexperienced, and how I was transparent with my intentions.

When I interviewed for my current job, I was looking to expand my knowledge and make more money for the skills I had developed. During my interview with this company I spoke a lot about my experience in the bridal industry and selling gowns, but by this time I had also discovered Future Boss Lady and I was right in the middle of writing it. Therefore, I talked a lot about that and my outside ambitions. How I wanted to publish this book, and create a brand, and someday run a company. In addition to wanting to learn more about the wedding industry and expand my skills in a field that I love. That day I was hired before I even left the store, with a $5 pay raise. I later found out that they saw my outside ambitions to demonstrate accountability, drive, and a desire to improve. It showed that I was willing to work hard and do whatever it took to achieve my goals without getting paid. Qualities they saw to be very valuable to their business.

Avoid Heavy Perfume: While having a signature scent is amazing for your personal brand, interviews are a very delicate scenario. You’re most likely going to be in an enclosed space, and you’re trying to make the best possible impression. You could make the mistake of wearing the same perfume that their ex wore, or a scent that brings up a bad memory. When going to an interview I recommend a fresh scent deodorant and antiperspirant spray.

Research: Why do you want to work for our company?

You HAVE to do your homework before you go into an interview, and you need to have a very good understanding of the job you applied for. Business value loyalty and they want you to want to work for them, not just for anybody. Before you go in you need to figure out exactly why you want to spend your time and energy giving them your valuable skills 40+ hours a week.

The first bridal shop I worked at was an off-the-rack, discount store that sold brand-new designer gowns that were overstock or discontinued. Let me tell you something, nothing killed an interview faster than an interviewee using the word “consignment” or not knowing that bridal gowns are typically re-ordered. It showed that the person was literally just scrolling on and randomly applying for every job that popped up.

Don't be too Confident, too Soon: While you want to be confident when going into an interview, you never want to go in thinking you already have the job. The interviewer is running the show, and they are not going to be impressed by a new person coming into their territory acting like they own the place. Be respectful, have tact, and save confidence for answering questions. I have had bosses say that they appreciate it when interviewees are nervous because it shows that they actually care about getting the job. Just be genuine and be yourself, if you’re the right person for the job, they are going to see it.

The main words and phrases that I have heard my bosses say in the past regarding someone who was too confident were:

  • Unmanageable

  • Hothead

  • Threatening to current employees

  • Bad for moral

  • Unwilling to learn

  • Unteachable

The idea is to blow them away, not bulldoze them.

Interviews are tough, but if you’re qualified and you genuinely care about getting the position, then being yourself should be enough. Just make sure you prepare and give yourself as many tools as possible to be successful.

You got this Boss Lady!

To learn more interview tips for success, as well as tips regarding resumes, cover letters, being a newbie at a job, being young and in charge, and being a stellar employee, check out the Future Boss Lady now available on Amazon in paperback, or the FBL shop in digital. #FBL

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