Recently, I’ve been having quite a few conversations with my younger sister about job interviews. If you didn’t already know, before I became The Style Medic, I was in HR (okay, I’m still in HR… these bills gotta get paid honey). Anywho, a while back I talked about how social media could affect your job search and how to keep your cyber nose clean. I’m gonna reach back into my HR bag of expertise and talk about how to dress properly for your interview. It should be common sense right? Just don’t show up for a job interview in jeans or club clothes. Well, some folks haven’t gotten that memo. Trust me. I’ve seen some really, um… strange things show up for interviews and those people thought they were dressed perfectly fine.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression; it takes less than 10 seconds for someone to form an opinion about you when they meet you for the first time. So with all of that said, here are some tips to make a lasting (good) first impression at your next job interview and not end up the topic of water cooler gossip*.
Start with the basics: A suit is the easiest option but not the only one. Start with a neutral color like black, navy blue or gray then add accessories and layering pieces that fit your personality. Corporate doesn’t have to mean boring. Here are some ideas:
Consider the culture of the company: Company culture is basically the personality of a company. Research the company mission, goals, and work environment beforehand to give you an idea of how to dress.
Take a look around: Answer these questions: What type of position are you applying for? How is your potential supervisor dressed? When in doubt, ask what the dress policy is. You don’t want to look out of place before you even get the job.
Don’t forget the details: Make sure that your underwear isn’t visible; consider shape wear for a more streamlined look. Makeup should be natural looking (basically everything you see on instagram is a no-go) and nails should be neat and not crazylong. Limit perfume or body sprays (or eliminate it altogether) because lots of people are allergic and too much can be a distraction.
If all else fails, it’s better to be overdressed: This obviously doesn’t mean wear a ballgown, but in an office environments you’ll be less likely to stand out wearing a suit than you would in jeans.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but if you start here, you’ll be on the right track. Whatever you decide to wear, hold your head high and be confident. You’ve got this!
* Is that a thing? Do people still gossip around water coolers? Do people even still use water coolers?
What say you? What’s your go to interview look?