Friday, November 29, 2013

What To Wear To An Interview

When dressing for an interview there are a few things to consider.  Some questions you should be asking yourself are what is the weather going to be like, what is the atmosphere of the company I am interviewing like, what position am I looking to achieve, how do I want to be perceived.

These are things I have learned from my own experiences and the general do's and don'ts associated with that.

Now keep in mind the length of these items may be shorter and longer based on the time of year:

Blouse- If it is sheer you should always wear a camisole underneath.  No interviewer wants to see your undergarments.  Trust me. This should also not be a cleavage revealing blouse.  Typically when you walk in and the first thing that is seen are the tops of your breasts you already start at a disadvantage.

Button up shirt- If you have a fitted or collared button up shirt, and do not feel comfortable wearing a blouse, go for it.  I find plain colors to be the best, but I always like long sleeved better than short.

Jacket- This can vary depending on the weather.  If it is hot you can wear a short sleeved jacket, and in the winter a long sleeved one.  I do suggest you make sure that the jacket is the correct size.  Too small and it will be too revealing and very uncomfortable, and too large will be slouchy and look unprofessional.

Dress pants- These should fit you properly.  Usually the colors black, navy, and khaki are the way to go.  Try not to wear bright or patterned slacks unless you know the environment you are going into is relaxed or "artistic".  It may sound silly but since there are so many styles and cuts of dress slacks/pants out there it is very hard to "mess up" wearing them.

Skirt- Preferably pencil as I feel they are the most professional, anything that is of knee length and lower is generally acceptable. Some professions prefer suits as opposed to just a shirt and slacks, so dressing it up with a skirt is another great option to look sophisticated and professional.  You don't want your hem line to ride up when you sit down exposing your thigh.  You want the interviewer focused on what you are saying and not what lies under your clothing.

Heels/Dress flats- It is always nicer to wear heels, even a small kitten heel, as opposed to boots or sneakers.  If you can't walk in heels then I suggest a very nice pair of flats.  Nice heels elongate the legs and add confidence to your walk.  I know it is a stereotype and can be considered sexist, but someone who comes into an interview that is wearing a small heel looks more professional and confident than someone who wears flat shoes.

Minimal Jewelry- Wearing a statement necklace and a simple ring, or a chunky bracelet with a delicate necklace is the way to go.  Make one piece of jewelry the focal point and mute or discard the rest.  Your jewelry should accentuate your outfit, not take away from it.  I would also suggest wearing something that looks of quality, and not six rubber bracelets or mardi gras beads. 

Minimal makeup- You want your makeup to look smart, not overwhelming.  A smoky eye, a light pink/nude lip, mascara, and some blush are all you need to look smart and sophisticated at an interview.  If you don't know how to apply makeup, today is not the day to try a full face of it, just stick to mascara and some lipgloss.  The worst thing was having someone come into an interview looking like they wore all the makeup they had in their collection.  It is not flattering and detracts from the focus being on your intelligence, not your looks.

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