Planning your next job interview

David is preparing for a second interview for a company where he really wants’ to work and he wants to know what to wear to an interview.

He has already made it past the initial phone interview, first in-person interview, and now he is getting ready for the second interview with hopes of closing the deal and getting the job offer.

Let’s see if we can show David how to dress for an interview.

David has the following interview question:

I have a second interview coming up and wondered if I could ask you a couple of quick interview questions.

  • I wear a goatee and wondered if it would be more appropriate to keep it or shave it off for the interview.
  • Interview what to wear: Should I wear a suit? Sport coat? Or just go casual?

They asked me my salary requirements during the first interview, but I’m not sure of the salary range for the position. What should I do?

Should I email my interviewer and ask them the salary range before my second interview? Is this a good idea?

Is there anything wrong with taking a bottle of water with me into my interview?

What about references? Should I send them to my interviewer before my second interview?

They are excellent and would be an advantage to me if he checked.

Don’s Answer:

Goatee should be fine as long as it’s trimmed. I usually like to dress and look like everyone else where I’m interviewing. There are times where I’ve not even worn a suit on an interview, just so I would look like everyone else and fit in.

I’m not suggesting you leave your suit at home. That’s part of the interview – if the interviewer can actually visualize you working in that company, then you just scored a point.

Interview What to Wear: If you are interviewing for a high-up position, then I would probably lose the goatee for sure and then grow it back after you get the job. If you have an idea of the corporate culture of this new company, then use that as your guide.

If it’s IBM, then lose the goatee for sure, but if you’re interviewing with a laid back company, then you might want to keep it as it may help them better visualize you working there, especially when you look like everyone else.

Don’t ever discuss salary in email because you can never see their facial expressions or hear their reactions, which is very important. Without this information, you will not know if you are too high or too low.

Save it for the interview and let them bring it up. It would not be appropriate for you to bring it up in the interview, unless you have reached the end of the interview and they have not brought it up.

But at this point, your focus should not be on salary. Make sure you’re a fit for the job. If so, the interviewer will most likely bring it up at the end of the interview. If they don’t, then it would be okay for you to inquire about the range, but don’t ask any specifics, benefits, perks, vacation, etc.

Personally, I like to get this question answered on the phone after they first contact me for an interview. One of my first questions will be: “what is the salary range for this position?”

I do this to make sure they are in my ballpark range so I’m not wasting my time with them. If I find they are $20k less then I’m willing to take, then I’ll pass on the interview. But you are past that point, so you should save it for the interview.

Yes bottle of water is good. I always do. But usually I’m always offered water. Avoid taking in soda pop or coffee. Taking in any other drinks besides water just looks a little dirty, or demonstrates a dependency on caffeine.

Top 10 job interview questions

No, do not email references. Never offer references. Way too pushy. Only offer references on request. Never put them or attached them to your resume either. If they ask for your references, that means they are strongly considering making you an offer.

Usually, if an employer asks for references, they do so after the second or third interview. Others may do it sooner, just to have everything they need from you. But they will never call those references unless they are ready to make you an offer. It’s actually a lot of work to call references.

You have just read a transcript of real problem posed by David who has questions about how to dress for an interview and what to wear to an interview.

Inside the Complete Interview Answer Guide, Don shows job seekers how to answer interview questions. The 201+ sample answers in the guide will quickly help you craft your own professional answers for ALL types of interview questions for any occupation.

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