Professional Etiquette (Part 1)

Alexander Wang

Have you ever interviewed or worked alongside
someone who would benefit from a bit of professional polishing? Perhaps an improved handshake, lesson in appropriate office attire, or suitable office behavior would transform their entire career path? Once upon a time, I interviewed a fledgling who had recently graduated from college, and while brief, our time together stayed with me. Dripping with admirable accolades, honors and qualifications, her resume appeared to tick the necessary boxes, however I couldn’t help but be tremendously distracted by her lack of professionalism. Inspired by this girl and hopeful to help others venturing into the working world, I’d love to share what I’ve learned about interviewing over the past six years. Whether you’re interviewing for your first job or fifth job, here are my tips on how to ace an interview!

HOW TO PREPARE
Just as you’d prepare for a sensational party, you need to prepare for an interview. How does one prepare, you ask? I recommend the following:

  • Whip out that laptop, and do a little research on the company and your potential supervisors
  • Confirm the date and time of the interview with the company and jot it down in your agenda so it doesn’t slip your mind  
  • Map out the location of the interview so you know where you’re going; in the event you’re unfamiliar with the area, consider doing a test run to ensure you don’t get lost
  • Have your “elevator speech” – that 30-second snippet summing up your fabulous resume – memorized so you can confidently answer the “Tell me about yourself” question with sparkling details 
  • Depending upon the field you’re interviewing for, prepare answers to potential questions they may ask you
  • Bring 3-5 copies of your resume (quick tip: resumes need only be one page!) as well as any examples of your work so you can leave them with your interviewers
  • Ponder questions for your interviewer – queries about the company, your role, the culture

WHAT TO WEAR
You only get one first impression so strive to make it an unforgettable one! Despite the company’s dress code, or lack there of, select an ensemble that’s both professional and respectful (swap those TB flip flops for some patent pumps!). Once the position has been offered and you’ve accepted it (victory!), then inquire about daily office attire and dress accordingly. Here are my favorite interview outfits that are sure to make you the most stylish candidate on the block. Also, pair any of these dresses and suits with classic black heels. 

1. Theory; 2. Milly; 3. Theory; 4. Rebecca Taylor; 5. Theory 

Stay tuned for part 2!

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