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Job Interview Dilemmas and Answers

Job Interview Dilemmas and Answers

April 18, 2011

The good news for recent college grads is that the job market is finally improving. Many companies are now hiring again. In fact, 28% of U.S. employers plan to hire fulltime, permanent workers during the next 3 months.

The bad news? Before you get the job, you have to survive the interview process. Job interviews are never easy. But they’re especially tricky when you’re fresh out of college, and leaning on promises instead of proof. If you’re preparing for interviews this spring, you may encounter some of the following dilemmas. Like most career quandaries, they’re easily avoided with a bit of planning and some common sense.

The person who schedules the interview mentions that it’s a “casual company,” and that everyone comes to work in jeans. What should you wear?

Since freshman orientation, career center advisors have been drilling it into your head that a suit is an absolute must for job interviews and first impressions. Meanwhile, more and more companies are adopting casual dress codes. And it’s not unusual for an interviewer or administrative assistant to alert job applicants of a low-key office vibe. That said, you haven’t been hired yet. Before you head out to shake hands in your favorite college hoodie, remember that a suit is still the only failsafe attire – even if everyone you pass in the halls appears to be dressed for a day of G.T.L.

Heather Root, a recruiter for a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts, agrees. “I think a suit is always great.” Just like in college, it’s better to overreach than to underwhelm. And if your interviewer seems thrown by your formal attire, you can easily play up your casual side with a fun, friendly attitude.

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