New book by a Catholic professor is a treasure trove of advice.
Job hunting? Mary Sheehan Warren has got you covered. A professor at the Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business, Warren wrote The Thoughtful Girl’s Guide to Fashion, Communication, and Friendship. Described as “a practical guide for girls on the art of communicating through your words, actions, dress and demeanor that you are a person with value and dignity,” it’s a treasure trove of helpful advice, based on Warren’s experience as a professor, entrepreneur, and Catholic mom of five.
The chapter on “Virtue and Manners” offers plenty of wise advice on giving a great job interview, among many other topics. Here are five of the most helpful tips, excerpted from her book that can apply to anyone searching for a job:
1. Research the business. What are they proud of? What is their current big news?
2. Get accurate directions for the location of the interview or figure out the bus route. (Note that an interview is not necessarily at the place of business.) If possible, drive past the location ahead of time to be sure you know where it is. Know where to park, how much it costs, and whether you pay with cash or a credit card.
3. Figure out appropriate attire for the interview. What are the standards of the profession or the “office culture” of that particular place? Gather together the items for your outfit (top, bottom, shoes, bag, hosiery—yes, hosiery) and ensure that each is cleaned and pressed. (Do this while there is still time to change your clothing plan.)
4. Arrive about five minutes early for the interview.
5. Mail the interviewer a hand-written thank-you note, unless the company specializes in another method of correspondence, in which case, you should use that other method (like a digital messenger or social media company).
At the heart of Warren’s writing is the wonderful old-fashioned idea that manners are about following the “Golden Rule” and treating others with respect and kindness. Etiquette doesn’t exist as a tool for getting what you want or moving ahead in business, Warren writes; rather it’s a way of showing common courtesy to each person, because of their inherent dignity.