There are moms who love prom dress shopping and there are moms who love wedding dress shopping. Then there’s me. I love to take my daughters shopping for interview clothing. Now, I haven’t had the opportunity to go wedding dress shopping yet, but I sure do hope it goes better than prom dress shopping.

Anyway, here I am, shopping for interview outfits for my oldest daughter only a week after I took my younger daughter. I am giddy! And my girls can tell. Both remarked, “Mom, you really do like this!”

My husband and I pride ourselves on making sure our children are properly dressed and prepared for any interview, whether in person or online. Our girls are at different ages—one is preparing for her first leadership interview in high school, and the other preparing for her first professional interview. The girls don’t have the same training or leadership backgrounds, but both will benefit from a solid interview foundation.

Best Ways to Prepare for an Interview

We shared the following tips with our daughter preparing for interview this week:

  • Know your interviewer’s dress code. Both of our girls were in professional interviews, so they purchased a well-fitting black pantsuit with a white blouse. They accessorized their suits with just a bit of color to enhance the suit, not overwhelm.
  • Practice your handshake. Make sure it’s not too firm or too loose and definitely make sure your hands are dry of sweat.
  • Research the organization. Skim through their website, social media accounts and definitely know the mission of the company.
  • Practice answering questions in front of a mirror.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early to the interview, and be polite to every person you interact with.
  • Take notes during the interview. Use active listening skills. Pause before you answer questions to collect your thoughts. Ask your own questions.
  • Be gracious and appreciative. Thank the interviewers for spending their time with you. Follow up with a thank you letter.
  • After the interview, reflect.

Our middle daughter’s interview was for a school leadership organization. I am thankful she gets this opportunity because it’s a safe environment to receive critical feedback, reflect, and hone her resume, cover letter, and interview skills. And in typical teenage daughter fashion, when I asked about her interview, she responded, “Fine, mom, but I’ll be better prepared for next time.” And for me, that response is worth all my time and effort.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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