You got the call to come in and interview. You have impressed them on paper and now it’s time to do the same in person. Interviewing can be a stressful experience but with a few preparations and tips you can walk into any interview confident and prepared. 



Your appearance at an interview can be a deciding factor as to whether you get the job. When you are employed by a company you represent that company. How you look reflects how they look. Because of this, employers hire individuals they know will dress professionally and make their company look good.  The question is, how do you show them that you are that person?

·        Your attire should be neat, clean and matching. Avoid showing up with wrinkles or holes in your clothing.

·        Clothing should fit. They should not be excessively tight or loose (“low-riding”)
·        No chips in your nail polish. This may seem small but employers could view it as a sign of someone that lacks attention to detail. 

·        Hair may be a form of expression but for the interview, try to keep it simple and avoid bright colors or loud styles. You want your qualifications to be the center of attention; NOT your hair. 

If you need assistance with obtaining proper attire, contact the Nolef Turns Inc. during business hours and ask about our Clothing Closet.


The only thing worse than arriving at an interview with unprofessional attire is arriving unprepared. The simplest way to avoid this is to prepare the DAY before.  Notice it says day before and not night before? That’s because sometimes the night before is a little too late. Think about this, let’s say you purchased a new shirt specifically for the interview. You wait until the night before to try it on and realize the shirt is a size to small. It’s after closing time for the mall and your interview is at 9 am the next morning – same time that the mall opens. Your options are limited at this point. The latest you should be preparing your interview outfit is the day before. It is also a good idea to gas the car the day before to avoid having to make a morning stop.

Clothes are picked out, ironed, and ready to go. Gas is in the car. Now, do you have all of your paperwork together that you have been asked to bring? This may include your driver’s license, social security card, or any certifications or professional licenses you may have. It is also a good practice to take a copy of your resume with you to have on hand.

If you haven’t done so already, research the company you will be interviewing with. This will give you an idea of what may be expected of you if offered a position. You should also research possible interview questions and practice them in the mirror or with a friend. 


Do not show up late. Do not show up late.

This is a point that cannot be stressed enough. Being late to an interview tells the employer that the position they may be offering you is not a top priority. They will also be left wondering if being late is a habit of yours.

Fifteen minutes before the interview, you should be at the location and parking your car. This will give you a few moments to do a last-minute hair check, double check you have all paperwork together, and practice what you may want to say.  Before you exit your vehicle turn off your phone or leave it behind.

 Five minutes before the interview, you should be walking into the office.


The moment is here… your chance to prove that you are the person for the job.  Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and remember to smile as you greet them. A few tips to keep in mind throughout the interview:

·        Make eye contact.

·        Use appropriate and correct language. Avoid profanity, slang words, and improper grammar.

·        Conversate but don’t take over. Let the interviewer stay in control of the interview and allow them to lead the conversation. Keep personal talk to a minimum.

·        Listen. Don’t make the interview repeat themselves too often. Stay focused on the topic at hand to avoid missing any important information or questions.

The Final Five

You’re down to the last moments of the interview and you want to leave a lasting impression.

1.      Ask questions. Try to avoid questions that can be answered by visiting the company website.

2.      Summarize your skills and reinstate your interest in the job. Leave out statements about how much you need the job or that you are willing to do anything.

3.      Ask about the next step in the hiring process and if you should follow up. If you can follow up, make sure you write down the contact person’s name and contact information.

4.      Ask the interviewer if any additional information from your end is needed.

5.      Stand after the interviewer has stood and thank him or her for their time.


The most important thing to remember throughout the interview is to be confident. Employers desire employees that are sure of themselves and the job they are doing. If you start doubting yourself keep in mind that they called you.

The interview is out of the way but you haven’t finished yet. Come back next week to read the final installment of Turning No into Yes and learn what steps to take next.              

For information about our Clothing Closet contact us at 804.918.6470 or visit our website at www.nolefturns.org

Copyright © 2017 Nolef Turns, Inc. All rights reserved.



Finding a job nowadays is HARD. Add having a felony conviction to the mix and the task can seem almost impossible.  The fact is, with so many resumes and applications coming across their desks, employers are literally looking for reasons to say no. The quicker they can get through the pile, the better, and unfortunately the first to go are often times those with criminal backgrounds. This is why our mission here at Nolef Turns Inc. is to help those who have made mistakes in the past to find employment. Almost daily, job listings and upcoming job fairs are posted on our Facebook page. But, as I’m sure you are aware, there is more to getting a job than knowing where to go. You must know what steps you can take  before, during, and after the interview to increase your chances of receiving a yes.

               Turning No Into Yes is a 3-part series that will outline what you can do to impress any employer. It is important that you do not give them a reason to say no. Take the time and do the work necessary to get the YES!

Part One: Before the Interview

The 3 R’s


               They say first impressions last forever and your resume is that first impression. Within seconds your resume must stand out above all the rest. Your resume should be:

·        Neat & uncluttered

·        Lined up evenly

·        No longer than one page


·      Not have any outrageous fonts and/or colors.

Resumes are getting fancier but a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and keep it neat.

 Once you have completed your resume make sure you triple check it for grammatical errors and typos. Read it aloud to yourself or let a family member check it over. You do not want your resume tossed into the trash because of a simple error.

Final tip on resumes…

 Make sure you have a professional email.  You should never use any email addresses that have gang affiliation, sexual content, explicit language, or anything else inappropriate.  It is not uncommon to have multiple emails, one for business and one for personal use. So, if you want to have the email then do so. Just make sure you have another account for professional purposes.


Let’s say you use your friend Dave as a reference. Potential employer calls Dave and hears music lyrics full of expletives blasted in his ear followed by Dave instructing him, very rudely, to leave a message. Wouldn’t make a very good impression, right? No, it wouldn’t. And if you’re thinking this would be a silly reason to not get offered a job please keep in mind…. they are looking for reasons to say no, even silly ones.  

Give everyone you plan on using as a reference a heads up so that they will be expecting the call. Try to use friends and family that you know will not only answer the phone but will also be professional. And last, don’t forget that when filling out the reference section of any application to make sure that you have accurate phone numbers and emails. Not being able to get in touch with a reference can slow down or even stop the employment process.


Congratulations! Your resume has impressed the hiring manager and you have been called in for an interview. Exciting!

 But before you begin celebrating, it’s a good idea to spend some time doing research. There are two things you should be entering in your search engine:  

1)     The company. It is good to know who you may be working for and what it is that they do. Impress them with your knowledge of the company and their products. This will also help you determine if the company is a good fit for you.

2)      Possible interview questions. Ever been to an interview and got asked a question you had absolutely no idea how you wanted to answer? I have and it’s not fun.  Some common questions include

a.      Why do you want to work here? (The research you did on the company will go great here)

b.      When was a time you were part of a team and how did you contribute?

c.      What are your strengths/weaknesses?

A quick google for (position applied for + interview questions) is a good place to start. Practice what you will say ahead of time and go to your interview confident and ready to answer any question thrown your way.

               If you follow the three R’s you are already on your way to getting that Yes. Your resume is polished, your references have been notified, and if you have gotten a call back, you’ve done your research.

Don’t forget to check in next week for Part 2: Acing the Interview.


               Need more tips or how to create a stand out resume? Check back soon for a more in-depth article on how to create a resume that will get you noticed.


Martasha Johnson

Copyright © 2017 Nolef Turns, Inc. All rights reserved.


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