The Who, What, Wear, When, Why, and How of Interviewing: Tips to Help Gen Y
By Lynn Hazan & Claire Mattison
Who to pay attention to:
• Do preliminary research about the company you are interviewing with. Look at its
website; track the company and its presence on social media sites like Linkedin,
FaceBook and Twitter. Also investigate the hiring manager and staff you will
• Before the end of the interview, ask for a business card so you can double check
names and their titles and send follow up thank you letters.
• Be nice to everyone you meet! Be aware that some companies ask their
receptionists/front line staff for feedback on how you presented yourself.
• Know yourself, your strengths, and your areas for improvement. Be honest about
what you can come in and immediately do.
What you should do to prepare:
• Know the position you are interviewing for. Make sure you exemplify the
character traits and skills you can contribute to the position and the company.
• Turn off your cell phone.
• Bring a portfolio of samples. Your portfolio can be in an electronic format. This
can include writing samples, class projects or “spec” (speculative) work.
• Make sure everything is letter perfect. There should be no spelling mistakes or
typos on your resume or samples.
• Stay current on world events. You want to be able to hold a conversation about
what major events are happening today and how they may relate to the job.
• Practice answering standard interview questions: For example, Tell me about
yourself? Why should I hire you over anyone else?
• Eat a light meal before your interview. This keeps your mind active.
Wear professional clothing:
• Plan your outfit. Make sure there are no missing buttons, holes, or stains.
• You don’t want to be remembered for your smell. Don’t wear heavy fragrance
and avoid smoking before your interview.
• Wear clothing that reflects the environment of the company. It is always good to
dress in good taste: No jeans, short skirts, or low cut tops, and avoid large labels
on your clothing. Look at websites like JCrew.com, TheLimited.com and
BananaRepublic.com for outfit ideas.
• Wear clothes that fit well and are comfortable. When you are comfortable, you
When timing matters: