Did you know that the mistake made most often in getting ready for an interview is unkempt shoes? According to the Shoe Service Institute of America, 89% of business recruiters rate good grooming high on the requirement list for senior executive material, and the way you take care of your shoes is a big part of the image you present. Here’s another quote from this source:
“Shoes are a reflection of their owner’s personality. That’s what both personnel professionals — who have been known to observe people closely — and white collar workers (the people they usually observe) said. Well kept shoes stand for professionalism, attention to detail, ambition, efficiency, conscientiousness, organization, confidence and even friendliness.”
Now most of us really don’t go around looking at everybody else’s shoes all the time, it’s true. But there is one time that your appearance is critically evaluated from the top of your head to the soles of your shoes, and that’s during an interview. The way you have groomed your clothing and shoes shows how much you care about detail and the work it takes to keep things in good repair.
If you don’t bother to shine your shoes or repair that ripped seam for an important interview, what else will you ignore once you are on the job? If you aren’t interested in ironing a wrinkly shirt, will you be the best candidate for a position that represents the company? These issues might seem a bit nit-picky but what sloppiness reveals is character, and all the interviewer can go on to determine what you will be like is the references in your resume and the evidence in your appearance.
It doesn’t take much research to figure out how to dress for that job interview, and it doesn’t take much work to get that outfit in good condition. But don’t forget to shine your shoes.
The question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is considered to not only be one of the most hated and laziest questions asked during an interview, but also the most common. Because you are certain to be asked this question at least once during your job search process, it’s a good idea to have an answer ready. Because it generally comes towards the end of the questions posed to candidates, it’s a good idea to anticipate it being asked and to be proactive about getting the information you need to answer it. During the interview there is generally give and take between you and the interviewer. Use this to your advantage by asking about projects that are currently being worked on, what types of projects you are likely to be immediately assigned to, and that sort of thing. You want to have enough fresh information to be able to give a good answer should this dreaded question be asked, and also to properly formulate questions later on when asked. There is no correct answer to this question, but there are several wrong answers. Answers where you seem arrogant or glib are to be avoided at all costs. You also want to avoid sounding as though you have no future plans and haven’t considered your role and impact on the company. When you are finally asked the question, talk about how the projects mentioned previously have been completed successfully, how you have moved on to other projects and expanded your role with the company. If there is continuing education involved, talk about how you anticipate it positively impacting your role within the company, completion of projects and your work with assigned teams. This makes you look thoughtful, like a team player and as an asset to the company. An important note is that when you tailor your answer to your impact on the company you are interviewing with, you save the interviewer the trouble of trying to picture how you would fit in with the company and what you would offer. This is a winning approach to an often dreaded question.