Communication ~ Interviews (part 2)

Communication comes in more forms that just talking. We have covered them in various aspects of the career search. There is the aspect of orally articulating your strengths, there is body language, written skills especially on a resume, first impressions, and tone. All of these come into play during the interview.

You might be asking how the written aspect of the resume comes into play while you are in an interview? The fact is…when you walk into an interview, you should have a copy (actually copies) of your resume ready to give to each person that will be interviewing you. You can never assume that the interviewer(s) have seen your resume so you should make sure you give them each their own copy.

Another way written communication might come into play is if you bring a portfolio or work samples into the interview to showcase certain work that you have done. These items can be very important in your discussion because you can refer to them as you speaking. “As you can see from my resume….” or “As you can see from the example on page 3 of my portfolio I created the brochure for…” and it gives the panel a visual aspect of your work product.

First impressions are critical when you are meeting for an interview. You only get one chance to make a first impression so it should be planned and well thought out. Something to remember is that many people have allergies to certain scents so you want to only use unscented deodorants and no perfumes or colognes that might aggravate the allergies of another person. Simply shower and be clean and fresh and that should suffice. Freshly washed hair and clean clothing speak volumes when attempting to make a good impression.

Ensuring that your clothes fit well is also very important. I don’t know what seemed to happen to my clothes, but from the time I put them into the closet…and the time I needed them for interviews…they seemed to have shrunk! I can only guess that there must have been moisture in my closet…because they were all too tight! I am only half kidding here…I did have interview clothes that were too tight and that could have been a big problem if I didn’t check out the clothes and try them on prior to the interview date. I had gained a few pounds and didn’t realize it until I needed the clothing. It is very important to try on each piece of clothing before hand to be sure that everything fits and doesn’t need any repairs. As I was getting ready for one interview I discovered that one of my favorite interview shirts needed a button; a button that I didn’t have so I had to either find a different shirt or I had to go buy a button, or set of buttons, to do the needed repairs.

Clothing should usually be conservative and business appropriate. A nice suit is always acceptable but a formal matching suit isn’t required. Nice slacks or knee (or longer) length skirt with a nice collared shirt and jacket can make a great impression if they are in good repair, clean, and fit well. I have been told by a few of the young women that I have coached that are in the retail business that I should include in this portion of my information that my ideas are guidelines for general business attire but if a person is going to work at a trendy boutique…the clothing options might be a bit more on the “hip” side rather than the conservative side. Each person should know their work, their trends, their audience and dress appropriately because as we know…as a professional in a certain industry…you might be the best expert to choose what is or is not appropriate. I am only giving you guidelines. If you ever need more in-depth coaching feel free to contact me at for private coaching sessions.

How much jewelry is worn or if you have tattoos that might need to be covered is another first impression question. How much jewelry should a person wear? It is best to stick to the basics. Women should wear conservative earrings that aren’t too flashy or dangle too much toward the shoulders, a nice necklace is of course fine, again not too flashy or showy, then of course a ring on each hand, a watch, possible a bracelet, and maybe a brooch, or pin on the lapel of a blazer. Again we each have to decide for ourselves what is appropriate based on our job/career. For men the general rule is to be conservative based on a business model. Men do wear jewelry and again it should be worn in moderation just as I have expressed women wear jewelry in moderation and if tattoos are an issue, wear long sleeves to cover them up. Many people have very nice tattoos…my son has them…but I advise him the same way…cover them up because you never know who your audience will be or how they will perceive your appearance and that is why I always stress taking the conservative route.

Next time in our series on communication and interviews we will talk about non-verbal communication such as eye contact and handshakes.

Leave a Reply

Click here for free resume samples. Remember to put the word "samples" in the information box Contact us

Non-verbal communication is still communication
You have made it to the interview and now you need to make a great impression. What are your nervous habits? Do you really sit as straight as you think you do? Are you making eye contact? Watching the clock? Read more to ensure you are communicating what you want... Career Blog

Colleague Statement
“Loretta is a highly experienced and productive professional in the field of Workforce Development, Job Readiness, Career Counseling, Workshop Facilitation, and Job Search Preparation. I have worked with her closely for over six years, and she has consistently been a valuable, key resource in the employment community. For three of those years, she was at Napa Valley College as a resource specialist in their career center... 
Read More