Rocking the Interview
Whether you’re graduating college and looking to enter the workforce for the first time or looking to expand your horizons with a new position, the outfit you choose for an interview is almost as important as the interview itself… and is often one of the biggest headaches associated with the interviewing process. What you wear and how you present yourself says more about you than most of those responses you’ve painstakingly prepared.
Different positions will require very different standards as far as interview attire goes. To get started, consider what the position you’re applying for may require of you.
Unfortunately, many executive level positions don’t want you to be the vibrant and colorful individual you are. Your best bet is to go for a classic power-suit tailored to you. If you want to add some touches of individuality (and we know you do), add some light accessories or pop some color on underneath your blazer. Make sure your look is clean and polished. Makeup should be light and nails manicured with a neutral colored polish or no polish.
When prepping for your teaching interview, think about this: Is your outfit appropriate to wear in front of a classroom full of children? If you have any doubts… change. Please.
Interview attire for a teaching job does not need to be stuffy. Once again, make sure everything fits correctly. Your look can include more of your individual personality. If you like prints and patterns, don’t be afraid to wear them. A floral skirt and a brightly colored cardigan are most definitely appropriate. Throw on a belt to polish off the look.
Even if you’re looking to scrub in, don’t scrub up for your interview. A tailored suit is your best bet. Your interviewer will want to see you as someone who can represent the hospital or center in a positive light inside or outside of work. If the position will require you to attend any medical conferences or depositions, a suit is a must.
Here are some other tips to dress for success in any interview situation:
1) Research the company and position you are applying for. Know what their values are. A more conservative company will be looking for a conservative individual.
2) Less is more when it comes to showing skin so cover up ‘the girls’ and the gams! Sleeves are also a must; you may have the most fantastic yoga-shoulders in the world, but a professional interview is not the time or place to show them off.
3) Make sure your outfit fits your body. This doesn’t mean it should be skin-tight; it should be tailored. Frumpy does not equal professional. If it’s been a while since you’ve interviewed, make sure your go-to suit isn’t outdated.
4) Practice your interview in your outfit in front of a mirror. It sounds silly, but if you’re tugging at your sweater throughout, chances are the interviewer will not only notice but will be entirely too distracted to focus on what you’re saying. If you’re trying on something new, make sure you can sit down, stand up again, and walk around without having to do any major adjustments.
5) If you have to travel a distance, make sure you’re in materials that are less prone to wrinkling. You don’t want to show up looking like you grabbed your clothes straight from the laundry bin.
6) The workplace as a whole has yet to warm up to this generation of tattooed and pierced individuals. Whenever possible, cover them up. If you have facial piercings, take them out. The same goes for crazy hair; do your best to tone it down. Again, research the company and see what their values are. Some employers may be more embracing of individuality than others.
You certainly need to look the part, but remember that the most important accessory in any interview is a winning attitude so go in there with confidence!