Professional Etiquette (Part 2)

TGIT dear readers! Feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed as you patiently wait for the glorious second installment? Wait no more, as I give you part 2 of professional etiquette, everything you need to know to ace the interview!

Shaking hands is all about striking a harmonious marriage between firmness and duration of time. You don’t want the handshake to be limp and quick (so unsavory!), but you also don’t want to break their hand and never let go (ouch!). Instead, strive for a medium-firm grip, and medium amount of time (2 seconds). While it may seem trivial, having a confident handshake can make or break the interview so master yours before the big day. Quick tip: Try practicing your handshake with friends and family before the interview.

The day has finally arrived! Filled with a bubbling mixture of anticipation and excitement, you count down the hours until the interview will commence. Aspiring to win them over with your exemplary personality and qualifications, follow these tips:

  • Be on time. Showing up late for an interview translates into an apathetic attitude and one that you’ll have to work hard to make up for. Have a flat tire or medical emergency preventing you from being punctual? Phone or email the interviewer to update them on your situation. 
  • Have your resume and portfolio of work out on the table and ready to give to the interviewers when they enter the room. 
  • Ask questions. The best way to familiarize yourself with new people and opportunities (professionally and socially) is to ask questions. Inquire about everything from why the interviewer enjoys working at the company, to your start date and benefits. 
  • Be confident. Confidently answer questions, and take each one as an opportunity to highlight notable attributes of your resume and experience. Show them you are the perfect person for the job! 
  • Take notes. No need to transcribe the entire interview, however write down (perhaps in the chic Graphic image notebook above!) key points. 
  • Confirm next steps. Confirm whether they will follow up with you (and when) or if you need to follow up with them regarding filling the position. 

Can you guess my tried and true recommendation for following up? A thank you you note of course! Whether on your own letterhead, chic boxed thank you cards, or email, send a thoughtful note thanking the interviewer(s) for the opportunity to meet with them, and reinforce why you would be a phenomenal fit for the job. Strive to send the note within 24 hours of the interview – this will go a long way with them!

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!

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

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!

Ask B: Summer Houseguest


Dear B,

I’m visiting friends this weekend at their beach house, and while I’ve purchased a host gift, I wanted to see if there’s anything else I can do to contribute to the weekend. They’ve kindly offered for me to stay with them, and so I want to make sure I show my gratitude. I’d love some MBB advice! 
Summer Houseguest
Summer houseguest, angel,
A weekend at the beach? Sign me up! You’re spot on with the host gift and I have no doubt it will be genuinely appreciated by your host and hostess. Another way to show your gratitude? When you dine out, pick up the check for a meal or two and let them know it’s your treat since they’ve so graciously hosted you for the weekend. This is an easy and considerate gesture that will go far with your hosts! Also, drop a thank you note in the mail when you get home, letting them know what a fabulous time you had.