Advice » Interviewing» Interview Preparation » Interview Etiquette for First- ...
Interview Etiquette for First-Time Hispanic/Latino Job Seekers

Interview Etiquette for First-Time Hispanic/Latino Job Seekers

The basic rules for preparing for a job interview are the same for everybody: Research the company, get your resume in good shape, dress for success and show up on time. However, it's especially important for new Hispanic/Latino job seekers to pay special attention to the above list, because cultural differences may affect how they interpret these rules, say career counselors working in two of the most heavily Hispanic/Latino communities in the US.    

What to Wear

Rebecca Hoda, director of career services at Hostos Community College, a bilingual college serving mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican and other Hispanic/Latino students in New York, says that inexperienced job seekers tend to go off to a job interview "dressed for a social event -- not for the job." For example, the women sometimes put on too much jewelry, and the men sometimes wear clothes that are too flashy for work.

Dressing inappropriately tells the interviewer that the candidate is naive and probably misunderstands the job requirements. Worse, especially in the case of a female candidate, a revealing outfit may cause a hiring manager to make moral judgments.

Don't Provide Too Much Information

Sometimes candidates may reveal too much information, because they are not aware there are questions that interviewers are not legally permitted to ask. Open-ended questions can be problematic for this reason as well. When hiring managers ask, "Tell me about yourself," candidates need to have their answers already prepared to emphasize their skills and suitability for the job. It is very important not to give out unnecessary personal information that is not specifically relevant to the job.

"You don't want to say, 'I have three kids; I'm of this or that nationality' as you might to a friend you meet in the neighborhood," says Hoda. "Don't give them any information they don't need to know. You will just be disclosing things that may be used to discriminate against you."

Candidates are not required to disclose ethnicity, whether they're married, have children or anything else about their personal life. If the information isn't used for sexual harassment or ethnic discrimination, it may work against the candidate in other ways. "The interviewer may think, for example, 'Ha! A single mother. That means problems -- we can't count on her to show up on time!' even if that's not true. She may have her childcare situation taken care of," Hoda says.

Practice and Prepare

María de Armas, director of the Career Center at Miami Dade's Interamerican Campus, where many of the students are new arrivals from Cuba, Nicaragua or Colombia, notes that most of the students she sees want to find jobs in the familiar Hispanic/Latino environment of Dade County. The neighboring county of Broward feels like foreign territory.

But even if they stay in this familiar area, a problem many job seekers have is being prepared to meet professional work norms, de Armas says. First-time job candidates do not always appreciate how important it is to be on time. She emphasizes that they also need to know exactly where they are going for the job interview beforehand so they can be sure to get there on time. No employer wants an employee who is lackadaisical about time, and showing up late for an interview creates a terrible first impression.

Both Hoda and Armas's offices provide programs that give students practice in preparing for interviews, including tips on appropriate dress and how to handle tricky interview questions. The candidate who is prompt and prepared can go in with confidence. And if the questions the interviewer asks are inappropriately personal, then it's a good idea to look elsewhere for employment.

Articles in This Feature:

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/29/2015
Fairfax, VA, 22030
OSI Engineering
Posted: 05/29/2015
Santa Clara, CA, 95054
Posted: 05/29/2015
Beaverton, OR, 97005
Posted: 05/29/2015
Washington, DC, 20001
Bed Bath & Beyond
Posted: 05/29/2015
Layton, UT, 84041

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-303