Tag Archives: professional attire

How to “Wow” Your Interviewer

Claudia Enriquez is a second year student receiving her Masters in Public Administration from NYU Wagner. She currently works as a Graduate Program Assistant at NYU Wasserman. She is a New Yorker at heart, growing up in Long Island, then moving to upstate New York to attend college, and now she’s back downstate and enjoying her time at NYU.

You landed the interview, now it’s time to bring out your A game and really ‘wow’ your interviewer. Follow these simple steps below and prepare to land that dream job/internship!

Research, Research, Research

Did I mention research? Check out the company’s website. Review the company’s mission statement, values, culture, goals, achievements, recent events, and the company’s products/services.  If you know anyone who works there – ask him/her to give you the inside scoop!

Practice Makes Perfect…Or at least Preparation!

Be prepared to the job interview. Practice general and challenging interview questions with your peers.  Practice in front of a mirror – don’t be shy! The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel, which will come off during the interview.  While you should practice, be authentic during the actual interview.

NYU Wasserman has plenty of great career resources.  Swing by during walk-in hours for a mini mock interview, or make an appointment with a career counselor. You can find other helpful resources on CareerNet, under the Career Resources tab. Check it out!

Get Ready and Be on Time

The night before do the following:

  • Have your outfit picked out (rule of thumb: dress one or two levels up)

  • Pack your bag

  • Print out extra copies of your resume

  • Get directions to your destination (Check alternative routes)

  • Relax and have a good night’s sleep

The day of the big interview give yourself enough time to arrive. Arrive between 5-7 minutes early. If you’re too early walk around, grab some water, etc. As soon as you walk through the door, all eyes are on you – that means, be polite to everyone, from the receptionist to the person interviewing you.  Remember to put on your best smile!

How to Answer Questions During the Interview?

During the interview make eye contact and answer questions with confidence.  Use the STAR method:

  • Situation – Describe the situation you were in (e.g., the name of the internship or course you were taking)

  • Task – Identify the specific project you were working on and briefly discuss what it entailed

  • Action – This is the most important element! Specifically identify what YOUR action was related to the question that was asked

  • Result – Close the question by stating an outcome to your situation

If you ever find yourself stuck on a question, that’s okay! Say to the interviewer ‘that’s a good question, let me think about it.’ Pause, breathe, think, and then give your answer.

Ask Meaningful Questions

At the close of the interview, the interviewer will always ask if you have any questions for them.  Have about 5-10 questions prepared, but of course, don’t ask questions already answered during the interview.

Below are good examples of what to ask the interviewer.

  1. What qualities do you think are most important for someone to excel in this position?

  2. What do you personally like most about working for this company?

  3. What would be one of the greatest challenges a person in this position would face?

  4. Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?

  5. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Follow Up

Send a thank you email or a letter to your interviewer(s) 24-48 hours after the interview. If you interviewed with more than one person, send tailored individual thank you notes. Reiterate your strengths and your interest in the company. This is also an opportunity to add anything you did not discuss during the interview. As always, thank them for their time and the opportunity.

Good luck!

How do I dress for a career fair?

By: Garvin Reid

Garvin Reid - Assistant Director at Wasserman Center for Career Development

“How do I dress for a career fair?”

A question so simple yet easily able to become complicated if you overthink it.

When thinking of what to wear for a career fair, think of it just as you would a social gathering in which that one person that you really want to impress will be there. The biggest difference is that instead of it being one person at a social gathering, there will be multiple people you seek to impress and it’s in a professional setting. As such, you want to be sure that none of the little things take you out of the running for the career of your dreams.

Just as you would ensure that your resume is primed and polished, it’s best to make sure that your appearance is as well. Appearing disheveled and messy could make an employer question your attention to detail. This is true for both customer facing and non-customer facing roles. Consider this: a recruiter may think “If this person did not notice their nail polish was chipped, how could they notice the extra 0 in the balance sheet?” Just as details matter in your cover letter, resume, business card, etc. you want to show that same level of care to how you present yourself.

What to wear

Similar to practicing your elevator pitch in the mirror, be sure to check your appearance in the mirror before leaving out for the career fair. Recruiters see attending a career fair as an opportunity to meet with a large amount of students with hopes of hiring a few or sometimes just one. With this in mind, you want your appearance to help rather than hinder you. 

Professional Attire

Suit

It’s always best to wear a business suit to a career fair. It shows that you are a professional and exudes confidence. Although you may be interested in a position at a company that you know has a relaxed dress code, you will never be overdressed when it comes to choosing a business suit for a career fair. What if you find out that the company with the relaxed dress code is no longer hiring yet there are multiple companies in your industry and all of their recruiters came in professional attire? Wearing a business suit allows you mobility at a career fair because wearing one makes you dressed appropriately to speak to anyone. 

In choosing your suit, you want to go for neutral colors (charcoal, navy blue, or gray). Black suits are difficult to make you stand out but if time or money is against you, there is nothing wrong with a black suit if accessorized properly (see below). It’s advised to stay away from the seasonal suits when attending a career fair. These are the seersucker, linen, tweed, etc. Seasonal colored and fabric suits are considered appropriate for a business casual setting rather than business professional. There is some leeway to this rule for women as colors are more acceptable. 

Get your suit dry cleaned and ironed before the career fair. A freshly pressed and cleaned suit literally fits as good as new. This also ensures that there are no stains on your suit just in case you had to get dressed in the dark because you didn’t want to wake your roommate.

Skirts

Ladies, when wearing a skirt to a career fair be mindful of the length. Anything higher than roughly two inches above the knee is considered inappropriate. When choosing a skirt to pair with your blazer you want to keep it professional. Think more “A line” or “Pencil” than “high low” or “mini”. 

Shirts

Your dress shirt is just as important as your suit selection. Consider neutral colors like white, French blue, or even a pale purple if you wish to show school spirit.

Ladies: You have more leeway in this area since you won’t have to worry about matching a tie to your shirt. If choosing to wear a button down shirt, it is important to ensure that it fits well. You want to make sure that it is not too tight which allows your undergarments to show between the buttons. Professionalism is the name of the game here.

Just as with your suit, a clean starched and pressed dress shirt says more positive things about you than a stained wrinkled one. I prefer to iron my shirts but if time is not on your side, you can drop it off at your local cleaner.

Ties

Now that you have your shirt selected, choose a tie that 1. Compliments your suit and shirt and 2. Stands out or has the ability to be a conversation starter. My personal strategy is to wear a solid gray suit; white or French blue shirt, and a conservative bow tie. I call this “Standing out while fitting in”. I’m no statistician but per my experience, if an event has 100 professional men, you are guaranteed to only see at most 10 of them wearing a bow tie. This creates a differentiating impression and also allows you to say “the guy with the bow tie” when you send your follow up e-mails (provided they complimented you on your bow tie of course).

If you’re not ready for a bow tie, fear not, there are other ways to stand out while fitting in.

Accessorize Accordingly

I remember being at a training led by Caroline Gundeck when I was an intern for Morgan Stanley in their Global Wealth Management Internship program. Caroline who is a Managing Director for Ultra High Net Worth Business Development spoke on ways to stand out at networking events. One thing that stuck with me since that training was to “wear a conversation starter”. Caroline explains it as something that is on you that may spark interest in the person that you are speaking to. For Caroline, that conversation piece is a broach, for me it’s been a bow tie and/or pocket square. You never know where that conversation may go or what that person’s perception of you may be after noticing it. The key here though is to subscribe to the mantra of “less is more”. If you are going to wear an interesting piece, let that one piece speak for you. With that said, also ensure that it’s professional.

Here are some examples of accessories you can wear to “stand out while fitting in”

  • Bow tie
  • Bracelet
  • Tie bar
  • Pocket Square
  • School Ring
  • Necklace
  • Silk Scarf
  • Lapel Pin
  • Hair Accessory
  • Broach
  • Earrings
  • Watch

Best Foot Forward

Gentlemen, it is important to ensure that your shoes are not only business professional but also shined and polished. This is particularly true for those of you with interests in the hospitality industry. Most of the customer facing roles within this industry grants their workers with the titles of being ambassadors of the brand. You want to make sure that brand looks neat, clean, and polished at all times.

Ladies, for you it’s not so much about the polish of your shoes as it is important that you choose the right shoe for the career fair. Consider going for the comfortable closed toe pump rather than a flat. With giving consideration to the weather on the day of, it’s best not to wear boots either.

Conclusion

When you think of a career fair, think of “The Hunger Games” you would like to do everything in your power to ensure that “the odds are in your favor”. Dressing the part is the easiest way to do so.  

Now that you know how to dress for a career fair, why not try out your new style. Attend the Fall 2014 NYU School of Professional Studies Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management Career Fair on Thursday, October 30th. RSVP here!

Attention Liberal Arts Students: Business Boot Camp Registration is Live!

Applications for the Business Boot Camp are due November 12, 2012. Apply via NYU CareerNet (Job ID #862479). Business Boot Camp is held on Thursday and Friday, January 24-25, 2013.

Polish your shoes, tuck in your shirt, and print your résumé, Business Boot Camp for Liberal Arts Students applications are now available!

This two-day business career exploration conference will feature ways to market your Liberal Arts degree in the business world and will give students a “basic training” in the lingo of the corporate realm. This boot camp is designed specifically for Liberal Arts students, and will provide students industry knowledge, exposure to corporate career paths, and an understanding of current trends in the business world – everything you’ll need to take the working world by storm!

Meet the Global Peers: Paris

Jakie Kim


Best Advice?

An older NYU student once told me that 4 years of college is enough time to set yourself up for the rest of your life.
She told me to utilize every opportunity that NYU offered me (especially the free ones). That meant going to the resource center, checking out books, borrowing movies, going to the gym, making friends with the people on my floor, sending email to alumni, going to all the NY events, sneaking into parties to network, etc.

How to make a good first impression at an internship:

My advice for making a good impression starts in the morning of your first day. Dress the part. Clean clothes and great hair go a long way. Also, bring some sort of breakfast treat if you can. Usually, if peope like a healthy morning snack or even biscottis to much on with a morning coffee. I mean, who doesn’t like a free snack? And when the people who ate thank you (which they will), you can strike up a conversation with them.
Also, don’t be afraid to speak up. I know when I start working at a new place, I’m always so scared to do something wrong or say something wrong that I decide to just stay quiet. But you should keep in mind that a first impression is still an impression, so you’re going to need to speak up in order to do that! Talk about TV, or movies, or pop culture. If you know something going on in your field of work, talk about that. If you’re interning/working in the same place as someone else, you’re bound to have something in common with your colleagues.

Two weeks in any site:

If I could spend two weeks at any of the NYU sites, I would choose Shanghai (Paris would be first choice, but I’m here so I’m assuming I cant pick this.). I feel like there’s a lot of really great new industries popping up in China and it’s in the middle of this incredible revolution. It would be great to get on the excitement and buzz that is in Shanghai. Also, I feel like the culture would be completely different from the US which would make for an incredible experience.

WasserWord of the Week: Dress Code/Professional Attire

Dress Code: formally or socially imposed standards of dress

There are a myriad of rules and suggestions for appropriate business dress. For interviews or events it is important to know what it means to adhere. Definitions of “dress code” usually fall into 3 different categories:

Business appropriate attire is generally a suit. For women, some dresses accompanied by a blazer are also appropriate. Choose basic colors (navy, charcoal gray, brown, or black) and keep the styles simple.

Business casual is a very popular dress code these days. This most often refers to slacks with a sweater or a casual blazer. Contrary to what many believe, putting a blazer over jeans does not make it business casual. Jeans are a strictly casual clothing item and should never be worn to an interview or an employer event.

Social/Evening wear is for formal events only. Do not wear an evening gown or a tuxedo to an interview or an event unless explicitly asked to do so.

Shoes should be conservative. Women, this means no stiletto heels, platforms, or open-toes. Men, stick with basic black or brown dress shoes in classic styles.

Accessories should always be simple and minimal. Ladies, do not wear overly large jewelry as it may be distracting during an interview. Men and women, if you have any facial piercings consider removing them for the event.

Always find out what the dress code is for an event you are attending. If in doubt, wear a suit. It is always better to be dressed more professionally than to appear too casual. Remember the old adage, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!”