Career Advice: Questions About Interviewing, Answered

Job searching can be tricky, and you’re not alone if you need a bit of help to make it through the interview process. We are in the business of career coaching, so a lot of questions come up about how to impress the interviewer and get an offer! Today, we’re sharing three questions about interviewing that we’ve received from our clients, and our expert tips that will have you interviewing confidently and navigating your next job hunt like a boss.

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1. Is it okay to ask about diversity in the workplace during an interview?

Yes, and you should! During a job interview, you are trying to determine how you will not only fit into the role, (what duties will be expected, how your skills and experience match up) but also how your personal values align with company values. At the end of the your interview, you want to be able to answer this question to the best of your ability: is this a workplace that I can see myself thriving in? It’s been pretty well-documented as of late that companies are making efforts towards, and in diversity and inclusion. It is one thing to talk the talk, it is quite another to walk the walk. The best way to address a potential employer’s diversity initiatives is to ask directly. What does diversity mean to the company? What has the company done specifically to make diversity and inclusion a priority? Can the company share any data on the staff or leadership team’s diversity? Some of this information may be able to be found out on a company’s website prior to the interview, so be sure to do your research and come prepared with a few thoughtful questions.

2. Why, in the digital age you, do still need to bring a hard copy of your resume to an interview?

While it may seem dated and even redundant to pull out paper copies of your resume while your interviewer is taking notes on a laptop, you should still do it. Why? It’s another way of showing preparedness, there will likely be that one person that asks for it, technology could fail you (what if the wifi goes down?), and it is something tangible for you to refer to as you’re being asked questions. And while we hope this doesn’t happen to you, it could be that this is the first time your interviewer is actually seeing your resume, and having physical copies of your resume is a great opportunity for you to make a positive impressions on your interviewer and get the conversation going. Pro tip: bring a copy of your resume for yourself and each person you are interviewing with, plus a few extras in case there are any drop-ins. If you don’t know who you’ll be interviewing with, bring three to four.

3. Important career fashion question: can you pull-off overalls in an interview?

Well, that depends on where you on interviewing-- maybe! What to wear to an interview runs the gamut depending on industry, company culture, and even where you are in the interview process. There aren’t really hard, fast rules about interview attire anymore, and most people don’t own a first-interview-suit. One truth remains, first impressions do matter and you want to put your best foot forward in an interview, which includes dressing the part. With that in mind, do your research on the company before laying out your interview outfit. Is it a formal environment? Grab the suit! More casual? Ditch the jacket and tie, keep the dress shoes! You want to dress like you work there and there is a photographer onsite to take new photos for the website. It is also totally acceptable, and encouraged, to ask your recruiter or whoever is arranging your interview what the dress code is. You want to be yourself. So, if overalls bring you as much joy as they bring me and you know it is a very casual work environment, pair your fanciest overalls with a nice blouse and dress shoes and go for it! Whatever interview outfit you decide to rock, make sure it speaks to the environment and reflects the most confident version of yourself!