Friday, August 18, 2006

Dressing for an Interview

Heading out on the job hunt? Here a few tips to keep in mind:

-Be sure to dress in an outfit that is one "level" above the position you are applying for. A dress or pantsuit is always acceptable. (Don't forget, it's always better to overdress!)

-Be sure to wear color near your face; do not make the mistake of wearing all black (unless you are trying to become a Starbucks barista). Different shades of blue look great on most people and tends to send a message of loyalty and dependability. Red is a great shade to connote power and boldness. Avoid baby pinks/blues, bright yellows and oranges, especially if you are under 30.

-Pay attention to the details: make sure your hair is trimmed and smooth, your nails are a neutral shade and not too long, your nylons are a neutral shade with no runs (bring an extra pair just in case!), and your shoes are unscuffed and polished. Go very easy on the perfume; this is one place you want to simply smell clean, not like a gardenia or a blueberry muffin.

-Wear flattering but neutral make-up: don't go overboard on the black liquid eyeliner, shimmer, blush and eye shadow, or super glossy lipgloss.

-Don't be afraid to wear jewelry. In fact, a fun piece of jewelry can help interviewers remember you and can be a great conversation piece, but you need to have the confidence to carry it off. The jewelry needs to be perfect for your outfit, like a just-chunky-enough necklace or well-matched broach. When in doubt, wear small gold or silver hoop earrings, small diamond stud earrings, or pearls.

-If you are interviewing for a creative job, you can still wear a suit, but punch it up
with funky jewelry or a scarf. Or you can wear an "unsuit"--a "unmatching" but coordinated jacket and dress/pants combo that still has the clean lines of a suit without the matchy-matchiness of a regular suit.

-Practice interview questions with a friend (lots of great ones on and Be prepared and know as much about the company you are applying to as possible. Show interest in the organization and your interviewer.

-Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Good luck and have fun on your job hunt!