Valdosta Daily Times

March 31, 2013

Be berry, berry quiet. I’m hunting jobs.

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Well, my dear budgeteers, I have survived my first week as a Savannah resident! There were some bumps along the way, such as my completely horrible salon experience. In short, I went in as a vibrant blonde and walked out first as a brunette with zebra stripes across my hair and second (after a “not-so-fix” session) as a brunette with blonde leopard spots. Don’t get me wrong, I love the jungle, but not on my head.

This was completely devastating considering I have a job interview on Wednesday. Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, my hair looks as awesome as I feel on the inside. But enough about my hair, I want to talk about the fact that I might have a job soon (thank you, Lord).

I have been named as a candidate for a social media coordinator and writer position. Wednesday will be my third interview, of sorts. First I had to answer a series of questions and after I passed that, I had an interview with the search committee via Skype. Wednesday, I have a three-hour interview. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had to snag a job for myself, so I’ve had to re-teach myself some basics. So, for my fellow job-hunting budgeteers, here are some basic how to’s and heck no’s that will help you snag more than just discerning looks from your employed family members.  

1. Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage ... Well, all the world is pretty much a job interview.

Make sure that all correspondence with a potential employer is perfectly polished. Even with email correspondence, refer to them as Mr. or Mrs. (Ms. if you don’t know her marital status), check your spelling and grammar and make sure to take every opportunity to thank them for their time and consideration.

Also, be conscious beyond correspondence. Make sure your cell phone doesn’t have a ring back tone and keep your voicemail box message simple. It should sound something like: “You have reached Brittany McClure. Please leave your name and number and I will return your call as soon as possible.”

In this day and age, your Facebook is also a job interview. It’s one of the first things potential employers check and just because you think your page is private, doesn’t mean they won’t find a way to access it. Take off all inappropriate pictures that contain things such as alcohol or you dancing in the club. It’s also a good idea to take any political affiliation off your page. You want your employer to get to know you, not your opinions.

2. Your interview outfit shouldn’t holla’ for a dolla.’

While you shouldn’t bling it out and flash brands for an interview, you do want to dress above your socio-economic status. According to Forbes, your manner of dress does tend to be a factor in the amount of money a potential employer may offer you. The key is to embody simplicity.

If you look at Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn, they were always dressed simply and classily. Find a dress that is one color with either no or little pattern. Never wear sleeveless, always at least a cap sleeve and never, never, never wear a low neck line. The hem line should always fall just above the knee and your shoes should be muted, like a nude or black, and should be closed toe with a short heel. You can add a pop of color (you don’t want to look like you’re going to a funeral) but only do that with jewelry. However, keep your jewelry simple and don’t overdo it. I usually stay away from bracelets and rings (unless it’s a wedding or engagement ring) because they are distracting and wear a necklace, stud earrings and a watch if the outfit permits it.

Your nails should definitely be polished, even if just a clear color, but stay away from crazy colors like green and blue. Makeup is always a plus, even if you don’t usually wear it. Also, make sure your hair is pretty much perfect. Either wear it down and pinned out of your face or in a neat bun. Overall, you want to look glowing and fresh.

Even if your interview is over the Internet like mine was, make sure you are professional from the waist up. Skype interviews do not excuse you from regular interview rules.

3. I’m not advocating for murder, but kill those interview crickets.

Nothing is more humiliating than being asked a question during an interview that you don’t have the answer to. Even worse, there’s that “Bueller ... Bueller” moment. That’s why you should always study, yes study, for your interview.

I had an interview via Skype on Monday and before it was show time, I went to all of the organization’s social media sites, read through their history and familiarized myself with the institution’s goals.

Going into an interview with no facts is like taking the SAT’s without practice. It’s a suicide mission and you are only setting yourself up for trouble.

It’s also important to remember that even though a potential employer will ask most of the questions, you need to be sure to ask some just to show that you are engaged. Before my Skype interview, I prepared two questions. My questions were:

— Has this institution ever had a social media coordinator?

— Will my writing be strictly for online content or will I write for other publications?

While an interviewer may bring up money, it is not proper etiquette for you to ask about money or benefits until you have been offered the job.

Well, budgeteers, that’s all I have for you this week. Hopefully, by this time next week I will have a job and if you are following me on Twitter @VDT_Brittany and like me on Facebook at then you will see my posts regarding my job and interview outfits. Happy Easter and happy job hunting!

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