Interview Lessons Learned from Halloween

Interviews can be a trick or a treat.

Interviews can be a trick or a treat.

Halloween is here. Just ask the kids who have their costumes ready and can taste the candy. They have been preparing for a long time. I remember as a kid, the summer would be spent deciding how I would dress for the big day. But as a career coach, I think about how trick or treating can teach job searchers about interviewing.

Halloween means costumes, getting candy for just showing up and remembering to say thank you. Interviewing means interview suit, proving you are the best candidate and remembering to say thank you.

  • Costumes—you don’t wear your Halloween costume every day, and you don’t dress as your best professional self every day. Just as you spent a long time finding the perfect costume, you must find the perfect interview clothes. You want to be dressed to express your interest in the job appropriately. You don’t want to dress too casually or overly formal. The type of company, the job and your personality determines the right balance for you. It is common knowledge in human resources that the day of the interview is the best dressed they will ever see you.
  •  It isn’t about you getting the candy–Unlike Halloween; you don’t get the candy for just showing up and ringing the doorbell. It is about showing up ready to show the company how you are the best candidate for the job. You must prove to them you understand their need and how your skills and experience are the best fit. Only one person gets the job; not everyone who applies or interviewed. There is only one position, and it is going to the best. Prepare and practice to impress the company.
  •  Remember to say thank you--just as you said thank you after someone dropped a candy bar in your bag, you must remember your manners and say thank you after the interview. Why? Because it is your opportunity to show the company your good manners. Good manners are only a small reason for the thank you note. It is your way of following up to give them a gentle reminder who you are and what you can do for them.

While waiting for ghosts, witches, hobos and princesses to show up at your door, prepare and practice some basic interview questions. The fundamental questions such as, what is your biggest weakness; what is your greatest strength; why should we hire you; and tell me about yourself. The candidate who proves they are the best will get the job.


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