Director of Proven Resume & Recruitment Results, Bernadette Innes, says to gain a competitive edge in an interview, wear an item of clothing in the colour of the company logo or branding. “This way you already look like part of their team. You must look the part. If you’re unsure of the company culture or what they wear visit and see for yourself,” says Innes.
Leading Australian Fashion Stylish Caitlin Stewart of Cast Professional Styling says, image and presentation are important to an individual’s success within a highly competitive market. Her business offers dress for success ‘job ready’ workshops for students and new graduates. Here are her top ten tips on making the best first impression at your next interview.
- Personal Grooming – this refers to the way in which you do your hair, makeup, perfumes and colognes and even fingernails. Ensuring that you look well-kept goes hand-in-hand with the perfect outfit. Take the time to wear a little makeup, cut and clean your fingernails and keep your hair off your face. If gentlemen have facial hair it should be trimmed and neat. Overpowering perfumes can be off putting as can half-faded fake tans and chipped fingernail polish.
- Wear Colour – colour (provided it’s not fluro yellow) makes people happy. It brightens the room and accentuates your personality and provides presence. A complimentary colour that suits your skin tone will go well with a classic suit.
- Keep it Simple– avoid too many ruffles, over the top patterns and fussy distracting designs. They have the potential to distract the interviewer and you want the focus on you!
- Avoid Showing Too Much Skin – ladies if you choose to wear a skirt or dress keep the hemline at the knee or below. Avoid showing any cleavage or any garments that are too tight or I’ll fitting. Always wear a top with a sleeve and pantyhose or stockings if you are interviewing for a corporate role. Gentlemen ensure your trousers are not too tight and the hemline is long enough.
- “Shoes Maketh the (Wo)man” we all know this saying. Old or scratched shoes can ruin an entire outfit. Ensure you invest in quality footwear or polish and clean your shoes before you attend the interview. Ladies avoid open toe shoes, they are not professional.
- Wear Jewellery and Accessories, but ensure that they are not too big or loud. This can be a distraction for the interviewer and in some cases, cheapens your look. If in doubt opt for a classic watch and wedding rings and ladies can wear small studs in the ear.
- Conceal Tattoos – I get a lot of pull back from this, however body art and tattoos can also be distracting. Covering them up for the interview is a safe option.
- Purchase Something New – if your budget permits. Having a new blouse or shirt for the interview will make you feel a million dollars, with this comes an increase in confidence. If we look good we feel great and when we feel great it’s been proven that we perform better.
- Dress Up More Than Down– Even if the actual role requires you to dress down, still ensure you wear a jacket or suit to the interview. This is a mark of respect and shows how much you want the role and are prepared to make an effort. Once you get the job you can wear what is required.
- Use Classic Luggage and Handbags – opt for a quality leather in a neutral tone for your handbag or briefcase. Avoid gym bags or plastic bags to carry your notes or CV.
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