Roxanne Flores, a native of Brooklyn, NY, is Vice President, Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer at Meredith Corporation, a role she assumed in April 2018 when the company acquired TIME, Inc. Roxanne oversees all aspects of the company’s human resources worldwide, including talent development, employee engagement, labor relations and compensation and benefits.
We all have that one friend who seems to grab life by the horns. You know, he or she excelled in school, wins every contest, always has the winning Lotto scratch off and lands every job. ¡Qué envidia — de la buena, por supuesto! But really, why? How? What makes this person stand out and achieve enviable results every time? I don’t have the answer, but I can share some tips that will help you be the standout candidate and, yes, land the job you want.
Research the job and the company. Recruiters and hiring managers are impressed when a candidate takes the initiative to learn about the company, customers, products and services and competitors. It doesn’t hurt to Google the interviewer for some fun facts too; this demonstrates that you are passionate and serious about this job. And please, please, please, be sure you know where you are when you finally sit down for your interview! I once had a woman tell me she was so excited about the opportunity to interview at The New York Times when she was interviewing with me at the The Wall Street Journal, where I worked at the time. #awkward
Dress appropriately for the environment and the job. Your outfit doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should not be flashy or too tight. Being comfortable will allow you to focus on the conversation rather than pulling down skirts or pulling up tops. Also, avoid noise-making jewelry and heavy perfumes (you don’t want to set off a sneeze attack or, worse, be the one wearing a fragrance that evokes an unpleasant subconscious memory of someone or something in the interviewer’s past). You want to be remembered for what you said and nothing else.
Be prepared. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Bring a few copies of your resumé. Turn your phone off. Give a firm handshake — no limp fish — and maintain eye contact. Holding someone’s gaze indicates that you are engaged in the conversation.
When you get the chance to interview for that dream job, don’t be afraid to express interest in the role. This is not the time to play-hard-to-get. Being cool can be read as a lack of interest or enthusiasm during the interview process and, believe it or not, is among the top-ten reasons the recruiter will reject your candidacy. It is perfectly appropriate to say you want the job.
The closing. Ask for a business card or email address. Before you leave, ask the interviewer if they think your background and skills are a good fit for the role. Lastly, offer to provide any further details they might need.
The follow-up. Send a thank you note or email in a timely manner. About 68 percent of managers say that it matters. As a recruiter, I can confirm that it does. At People en Español’s Poderosas Live! event last year in Miami, a woman who had attended my chat the year before approached me to thank me for sharing this advice. Her new manager told her that what set her apart from other qualified candidates was the initiative she took in sending a thank you note.
Keep in mind that every step of this process is an opportunity to make a good impression and no detail is too small. Suerte and go for it, ¡manos a la obra! Until next week.
I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a tweet on Twitter @FloresRoxie