WHAT TO WEAR TO A JOB INTERVIEW
DRESS LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A BOSS
You looked fantastic on paper, but now comes the second part of the screening process – The Interview! HR Departments are looking for a person that meets their criteria, and that they connect with. That’s why you must walk into the interview prepared, with the right attitude, and the best version of yourself. Aren’t job interviews like first dates? They can be a little awkward, and unpredictable at times. So try to gather as much background information about the company or organization prior to arriving for your interview. This will help you with your responses, and will allow you to familiarize yourself with your future employer. Being prepared will make you feel more confident as well. Having thrown myself into 20+ job interviews during the last decade, ranging from positions at retail stores to positions at international law-firms, I thought I’d share some tips on how you can land the role of your dreams.
Make a Fabulous Entrance!
Even if a job interview is not the place to showcase the latest fashion trends, you can still make a fabulous entrance. If you are very unsure, I would find out what is the organization’s ‘dress code policy.’ I say this because in today’s modern world there are companies where everybody wears shorts and flip-flops to work. Other work places require both women and men to dress in all black. I personally know a couple of law-firms where the attorneys can wear jeans every day of the week – not just for ‘Casual Fridays’! So assuming that you are a job-seeker that really wants the job, I suggest that you call ahead and ask the secretary what the expectations are. When in doubt, show up looking like a lady. I personally wear pencil skirts and silk blouses a lot, because I love feminine outfits. If you prefer to play it safe, you can pair black or navy slacks with an ironed white buttoned shirt, for a professional first impression during your interview. Either way, your goal is to make a lasting positive impression, so kick it up a notch for your job interview – even if you are aware that the dress code is relatively casual. And as I always say: ‘It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed!
Styling Your Outfit
If you are wondering ‘Where do I start?’ – don’t panic. Going to an interview should be exciting! This is an actual real door that is opening for you, the new job may even be life changing – so have fun with this experience. When putting together your interview outfit, always choose colors that look great on you. But don’t tell me that bright neon orange is the only color of the rainbow that makes you glow! We are still in ‘business mode’ over here. 😉 Pastels are feminine and delicate, and black or white is always a safe bet. Make sure that your clothes fit comfortably, so practice sitting down in them, try them with your chosen shoes, and walk around. If you decide on a dress or a skirt – make sure that it is knee-length, so that you can look classy & sophisticated. When it comes to shoes: I prefer closed-toed pumps (no pedicure required!), but if you decide to go with heels, please get a pedicure. Jewelry and make-up are okay, but be discreet. For the workplace, I believe that less is more. If you wear your cute collection of silver bangles to the interview, you risk rattling them loudly on the table, so better save them for Friday night when you go out to celebrate that you actually … Got The Job! 😉
What if you are a college student interviewing for an internship?
While college students usually dress in casual wear for the classroom, they should still dress professionally for an interview. This applies to an interview for an internship, and an interview for a professional job. Why? Because the first judgement an interviewer makes will be based on what you chose to wear. So even if your internship will have you dressed in scrubs all day long – make an effort, and dress appropriately for the interview. The interview can be as long as thirty minutes, or could take over one hour, either way – you can do it! Make a little effort – it can potentially take you a long way!
What Not to Wear
Ladies – please do not wear anything that is too short, too tight, too flashy or low cut.
The Final Details
Non-Verbal Cues Are Important
Arrive 15 minutes early! Turn your cellphone on ‘silent’ mode! Nowadays everyone keeps their cellphones within one inch from their fingers, but keep it hidden in your purse. Be polite with every person that you meet that day. Keep a straight body posture, and your hands on your side. Make sure that your shoes are clean, and that your hair is neatly combed. In the picture above you can see an easy way to style your hair. Just do a ponytail, separate a strand of hair, then twirl it and wrap it around your pony tail. To finish, just stick it through the elastic band, or use bobby pins to hide the end of it. Super simple! FYI: It might be better to not wear cologne at all. I had a boss once that suffered from ‘fragrance sensitivity,’ so he had implemented a scent-free policy for the workplace. Just in case, you might want to omit any strong perfumes. Finally, after the interview make sure that you send a ‘Thank You’ note!
You are now ready for your interview! I hope that these tips help you out. Share your thoughts!
** To see a beautiful way that I have styled this skirt with silk, click here.