Part One – Fashion
Your credentials are good. Check. Your resume is well prepared. Check. You’re accountable, likeable, trustworthy and hardworking. Check. But it might not be enough to ace that job in today’s competitive marketplace. Based on your appearance, when you meet someone for the first time, it takes between three to five seconds to make a first impression. The only immediate information your potential future employer has is how you look; and that first impression, by the way, is very difficult to undo. Bottom line: Don’t just look good on paper.
Equate how you show up for your interview with watching a big-production Broadway show. Visualize it from the perspective of the audience (a.k.a. the interviewer) and pretend you’ve already landed the part. You’re not only the star of the show, you ARE the show. Your outfit is the set, your accessories are the props, and your hair and makeup are, well…hair and makeup. All four are necessary, and they must work in harmony with each other to enroll the audience’s attention the moment they lay eyes on you.
Regardless of your age, weight, or where you think you might rank on your favorite magazine’s scale of the “most beautiful people in the world,” none of these things really matter if you follow my beauty tips for each of my four essential components of beauty: Fashion, Accessories, Makeup and Hair. My guidelines are assured to make you look the part. If any of the four essentials is out of harmony, it can detract from your appearance and even damage your performance. Once all four are in place, you can forget about how you look and confidently move ahead. By nailing the first impression, you’ll knock ‘em dead out the gate. It just may help you get a rave review … and the job!
Dress as if you already work there … but be the best dressed. Based on the particular type of job you’re seeking, do your homework and research their dress code. Companies vary to some degree on their standards of dress. It’s easy to investigate. Check with the receptionist about dress codes or even scope out the work environment as employees come and go during the day. If you’re interviewing for an artsy position in the entertainment industry, fashion, marketing or design, adjust your attire to be a bit more stylish … but never trendy. Or if every day is Casual Friday at a particular company, tweak your attire to be slightly less formal. But don’t overdo under-doing it; underdressing might be perceived as not caring enough about the job.
Always look professional and put-together. Think classic but not boring. Business attire is your best bet. Keep colors neutral and coordinated. Avoid bold prints, odd colors and busy patterns. They can be distracting when you’re selling you. The ideal interview outfit? A suit or a pencil skirt paired with a well-tapered, coordinated blazer. Second choice: A tailored dress or a pantsuit. Fit is crucial. Even on a budget, a good tailor can be your best friend. The ideal color? Navy. It fares better than black for a job interview. Black can seem foreboding. Be sure the length of your skirt or dress falls just above or just below your knee, and check that your skirt doesn’t ride up when you sit or get up (and never tug). Pair your outfit with a crisp white shirt or blouse. It’s mistake proof. Avoid sleeveless tops in case you remove your jacket. You’ll be taken more seriously with long sleeves. And make sure your outfit is age and season appropriate.
Err on dressing conservatively. It’s better to dress up than dress down. Avoid overly casual attire, jeans, shorts, beachwear or sports gear. Ditto on see-through material and undergarments that show through. Stay away from tight outfits, hip-huggers, low-cut tops and avoid cleavage. Keep sexy away from the interview. Save it for dating.
Choose comfortable clothes. Choose comfortable fabrics and breathable materials to keep you cool and collected.
Wear the right undergarments. Invest in a good body shaper to flatter your figure and keep the jiggles at bay. Spanx can be your best friend.
Avoid adjusting your clothes during the interview. It’s distracting and can make you appear fidgety and self-conscious.
Make sure your outfit is well kempt. Your clothing must be is neat, clean, stain-free and well ironed. Nothing rumpled. Wrinkles are a no-no. And don’t forget to use a mirror to check your outfit from the back. Look for tears, rips, stains, threads or overlooked wrinkles.