As you prepare for an interview, it is critical to understand the significance of a first impression. From the second that you walk in, an employer forms an opinion of you based on how you carry yourself and how you are dressed. However, the appropriate interview attire can vary depending on the company and industry, so it is always important to take into account the organizational setting to ensure that you are dressed for success. With the correct planning, you will be prepared to ace any interview.
When the majority of people consider interviews, they immediately think of needing to wear a suit. While there are exceptions, the general business and interview attire mandate a suit with matching pants or a skirt. However, the interview isn’t the opportunity to display your mastery of the newest color trends or how expensive your wardrobe is. Since an interview is an official occasion, it’s always recommended to go for more of a conventional look. The optimal suit colors are navy, black, or grey with a coordinated blouse. Your suit should be tailored to fit you. Above all, it is important that you are comfortable in your outfit so you are more focused on the questions asked in the interview rather than pulling down the sleeves and skirt of a suit that doesn’t fit.
Be sure to avoid wearing suits and blouses that are too tight, short, or sheer. Never wear animal prints, bright colors, lace, and try not to show cleavage. If you opt to wear a skirt, ensure that it is knee-length. Short skirts are perceived as unprofessional and long skirts, while they do provide modesty, are too chic and unconventional for an interview setting.
Shoes are another important aspect that can affect your first impression. They should be conservative and have a low-heal. While stilettos and open-toed heels are cute and trendy, it is best to invest in neutral colored pumps in preparation for an interview.
Hair, Nails, and Makeup
Your hair should be well-kept and done for an interview. It is usually best to stick with a classic, conservative look such as having your hair down (straight or curly) or a tasteful up-do such as a low ponytail or French twist.
Your nails should be neatly manicured. The most conservative looks entail either neutral-colored nail polish or no nail polish at all. It is best to avoid abnormally long nails or styles with bright colors and patterns. While having uniquely styled nails is fun, it is best not to show off your nail-art in an interview.
Your makeup should also be neutral. Avoid wearing too much makeup or wearing bright colors. Makeup should be flattering, but not excessive and trendy.
The rule of thumb for accessories is to be conservative and that less is more. For jewelry, refrain from wearing large, dangling earrings or multiple earrings. Avoid styles that are flashy and distracting because you want the employer to pay attention to you and your accomplishments rather than your necklace. It is best to limit yourself to one necklace, one bracelet, one set of earrings, and one ring per hand.
If you are wearing a suit with a skirt, it may be best to wear a pair of pantyhose that match your skin tone. Make sure the pantyhose fit and don’t have any holes, snags, or runs in them.
Many people also opt to carry a portfolio or briefcase. This adds a professional finish to your look. The best options are those that are conservative and only large enough to fit a resume neatly.
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