Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Present the Best You (& win some goods)

I live by the law of maintaining professionalism in your appearance long after your start date (that means you shouldn’t retreat into fleece jackets!) So you can probably guess that I think it’s even that much more important to dress the part when you’re trying to land THE job.

However, I would also be the first to tell you that the clothes are nothing without a quality interview.
 In November 2010, I was up for an internal position. This required me to have a lengthy day of interviews in a huge skyscraper in downtown Chicago. With enough prep, I cascaded through the first interview rotations with ease, my confidence was beaming as I spat verbal evidence of my candidacy. I became incredibly certain that I was going to pass this audition with flying colors.

However, that was before my final meeting of the day, or as I call it: “The Interview When I lost my Confidence”.
 The final (& most important!) Exec I faced was a handsome, successful man who had a corner office overlooking the entire Chicago Riverwalk. His clothes were pristine. His office modernized and impeccably decorated. His handshake was drastically firm, he stared me dead in the eyes and he was cordial but not overly friendly. He had palpable clout.

I instantly responded to the intimidation: I fidgeted. I dropped my pencil 3 times. I lost my train of thought. I underscored my success. He saw a different side of me than any of the other interviewers. The interesting thing was that I wasn’t suddenly any less qualified yet I had become powerless against myself- I was experiencing the Achilles’ heel of interviewing: lack of confidence.
 Our meeting came and went with no discernible faux pas or obvious triumphs. I had dressed the part and had been prepared to spin my negatives into positives. But in that moment, I managed to just blend into the mirage of candidates becoming no less & no more valuable than the others. To him, I was forgettable and replaceable: not the right fit for the job. And as a result, I wasn't hired.


Because it’s not just the clothes that make the (wo)man. Candidates need to be fine-tuned and rearing to go with every varying aspect of the job hunt. This leads me to Monster.com’s recent launch of the BeKnown professional networking app for Facebook. BeKnown allows you to set up a professional profile directly on Facebook that is completely separate (!!!!) from your personal Facebook page. One of the apps newest features, College Pages, even provides a way for alumni to network professionally on Facebook and view job postings from their fellow graduates!

BeKnown also lets you conduct a job search of Monster's database of jobs without ever leaving BeKnown or Facebook. By tapping into the networks of their Facebook friends, young professionals can easily connect, send messages, and see who among their existing contacts is connected to a company or job opportunity they are interested in.
 It basically allows you to worry less about getting an “in” to a company and more about what you’re going to wear… or how you’ll respond to powerful executives in corner offices.

And to get you ready for your big interview (or help you keep up your swagger at work), Monster.Com is willing to give one lucky Candyfloss & Persie reader a professional business card holder and a fabulous eye-makeup kit.


All you need to do is simply CLICK HERE to check out the app and leave a comment about your worst interview experience or your favorite thing to wear to work. The winner will be randomly selected on January 11th.


Happy networking & good Luck on the Giveaway!
BeKnown Facebook app HERE.
iPhone app HERE.


As a disclaimer, I am a participant in Monster.com’s “Present The Best You” Online contest. For this, I was provided with a participant gift that included a makeup kit and professional business card holder. However, the story and opinions are my own. Once in a blue moon, I agree to colliding my Blog with a company but that is only, only, only because I have tried, believed in and enjoy the product. Period.


Photobucket

26 comments:

rinniez said...

you do work fashion so well!
im worried when i start teaching im just going to turn frumpy haha.
:)
xx

Rick said...

Caitlin:

Thanks for sharing your story. It was educational as well as easy to relate to. And you are right...confidence is so important. If you don't believe in yourself, others could have trouble doing that too!

Cool collaboration of the app!!

Charlotte said...

Than ks for sharing this, I've had a similar experience in that the interviewer asked why i wanted the job and I answered 'I need to start working, I don't like being unemployed'

We don't have a dress code at work, its all very casual weekend wear x

TheUrbanUmbrella said...

You make work-wear look so chic and effortless! You have a great sense of style =)

I always find work-wear difficult cause in the mornings when it is cold I just want to put on something cozy and warm =(


The Urban Umbrella
xoxo

Tangled In Texas said...

Oh I love this! I really appreciate your honesty. Some days I feel like I've got it all down, then others I just feel like a klutz. ;)

I LOVE your work fashion. People need to realize that covering up doesn't automatically mean "boring".

Lindsey @ The Hill House said...

Ha! You would be so terribly disappointed with my choice of attire today. Maybe a more fashionable year should be one of my resolutions! :)

Little Ms. Fun said...

I totally agree on the whole dressing professional for work. Some people come in here and it looks like they just woke up. If you don't play the part, you won't get the part.

As far as the app goes, I'm a little slow with the technology stuff. I'll deff check it out tho :)

Erika said...

LOVE this Giveaway; and the fact that you shared your own interview story with us, Caitlin.

My worst interview took place a few years ago, and went wrong from the moment I walked in. I was waiting in a room to be taken into the interview, and an employee there asked if I was waiting for my mom - she thought I was a kid or something! That totally threw me off, and made me unfocused during the interview. You live and you learn, I suppose - then you make sure to wear heels at all future interviews! :P

cafefashionista@yahoo.com

Johanna said...

Good post and great giveaway! I've lost many an interview over the years!

Elle Sees said...

ooh, on my very first interview, they asked about my experience and i said i had none. who does that?? i really don't know why that came out. the interviewer laughed!
totally NOT hired

Kim's Vanity said...

So true, Caitlin! I've always admired your ambition with regards to your career! I'm shaking just thinking about that exec you had to face .. good advice about never losing your confidence and just faking it til you make it. I hope you land your dream job this year!

Bon Bon said...

So true! Gotta dress for the job you want! You go girl!

Bonnie said...

First of all, I commend you on teaming up with companies that you believe in. I wish that more bloggers took this stance.
Second, your professional outfits are KILLER. I want to be you.
Third, amazing advice. Totally and completely.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Claire Kiefer said...

I hear you on the "colliding my blog with a product"--I feel the same way! Please enter me: I have the BeKnown iPhone app and follow them on facebook! xoxo

GlamorousGirl said...

nice look !

http://glamourgirl-bg.blogspot.com/

Kara said...

What an awesome app!! I think it's great to work WITH Facebook rather than against it.

My worst job interview was right after grad school - I joked about DRINKING BEER in the interview (okay, in context, it wasn't that bad, but I TALKED ABOUT BEER FOR GOD'S SAKES). I wish I were joking.

| C AND C | Sarmin said...

I love the way you dress, for both work & play. I only had one "real" job my whole life, & I don't remember if I even had a interview...I do remember wearing my printed 70's print button down shirt that I got at Old Navy my first day. Oh, & when I was being "interviewed" for becoming a intern at ACE at my college, I was wearing sweatpants, they were VS Pink, good times. The guy that interview me knew me, so it wasn't all that bad, I got the internship...If you were wondering.

xo Sarmin

BlackLOG said...

I had two interviews last year – the first interviews I’ve had in over 20 years –

The first was for a position of London Olympic Ambassador

The second for a management position as a London Olympic Ambassador

I got offered both positions which was great – one thing I’ve found in life is that it’s best to be who you are with people from the off as it’s much easier later on. One time I tried being a quieter version of myself (we had taken my sister on Holiday to try and take her mind off the anniversary of her husband’s sudden death the year before and so I had reigned my normal self in) we were in a chalet with 8 other people we didn’t know. After a few days I tried to be my normal self and found it really difficult to break down that original perception that these strangers had of me.

June said...

Such a nice post too! I work in a corporate firm and went for numerous interviews last year and could completely relate to this post!

Nice to meet you!
June xx
http://junebiswas.blogspot.com

CutestPrincess said...

nice post, nice blog and you're so beautiful!

Anyway, I followed your blog, hope you can follow back, too!
Thanks!

It’s a GIRL Thing

kirstyb said...

you look gorge in the first piccy x

Nicole said...

you are so lovely and professional. :) sometimes i think i would like a fancyshmancy office job.

xoxo

Savvy Gal said...

Interviews can be very stressful even if it is an internal position. I agree with the professional attire at all time. : )

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

cool - i will need to check this site out! loove your long coat in this post!

Nicole said...

Ah interviews are lame sometimes. But you looked fabulous ;)
Hope you have a great week!
xx
blog.diamondsanddust.co.za

Dirt On The Rocks said...

This is a great post. I definitely need to gain some confidence when I go in for an interview. Instead I find myself completely intimidated and that's something I can't let beat me.