What not to wear: Interview Edition
Today I wanted to do a little spinoff of the popular TLC show: “What not to wear” (^Check out my mad photoshop skills guys!) The thing is, after working as a Recruitment Consultant at one of the, so called, “Big 5″ consulting companies, you can be unpleasantly surprised by what a person decides to wear for an interview. Don’t take me wrong, most people do an okay job just by using common sense, but there is always the person who decides to wear sunglasses for an interview (Real story, I kid you not). So, in this post I wanted to give you some tips not only to get by, but to positively stand out in an interview, first impression-wise, even under our constricting student budget.
Even though an interviewer’s job is to remain impartial until an interview is finalized, first impressions do affect us all. Wearing the right attire goes a long way in sending the message that you are taking the opportunity seriously. Thus, the golden rule for interview outfits ends up being this: being overdressed is better than being underdressed, always. Now, I DO NOT mean that you should dust-off that special gown or tuxedo from your closet for your interview, but that in case of doubt, always choose classic formal clothing over casual outfits. It is true that many workplaces are quite relaxed and people may even wear jeans in the office, but unless you are told otherwise by the employer, formal wear is the way to go during the whole interviewing process. Interestingly enough, during one of my HR classes last week, we were talking about “Power in the workplace”and proper attire was actually mentioned as a mean to express it; and who are we kidding, as students we need as many empowering and confidence tools as we can get during the slightly intimidating interview process.
So basically, here it goes:
The “what to wears”:
1. Both women and men should wear conservative colours, such as navy, dark grey, brown, or black, for their outfits.
2. All your attire should look like you put the effort of keeping it neat and wrinkle-free. In terms of grooming, you know, take a shower, look clean, make your mom proud.
3. White is the safe and to-go colour in terms of choosing a blouse or shirt.
4. Women should wear a two piece suit, and in the case of wearing a suit skirt it should never be shorter than above the knee. Shoes should be dark coloured, closed, and should not have more than a 2-inch heel.
5. Men should wear a suit with a not too-flashy and classic tie. In terms of shoes, leather shoes or any type of business shoes are the way to go. Choose dark coloured socks, preferably matching your suit colour.
The “what not to wears”:
1. Ladies, keep your makeup, nail colour, jewelry, and hair style classy and simple, we are not trying to impress Lady Gaga over here.
2. Gentlemen, do not go for the lumberjack look for your interview, shave (seriously); and fine, if not, make sure to groom your facial hair.
3. Boys and girls, pretty sure your boss will know all about Mr. Hugo Boss or Mrs. Channel, no need to be a walking cologne/perfume advertisement.
4. Lets just not bring bagpacks or super elaborate and colourful purses into the interview room.
5. And yeah, don’t be that sunglass-wearing guy…ever.
And thats it, voila! The amazing thing for us students is that looking really good for an interview does not have to be expensive, just remember KISS: keep it sweet and simple.
So ladies, leave your bling and your ten-inch heels for friday nights; and gentlemen, leave your white socks and morning hair for the gym.
Good luck on that interview! (…May the force be with you)