When it comes to job interviews, you absolutely have to be at your best to clinch your desired job. This means:
- knowing you’ve prepared as much as you can about the organisation you are trying to join;
- being confident in yourself, which will include being sure about your knowledge, experience and ability;
- being clear about why you want the job and how you see the next few years if you get it;
- looking your absolute visual best. This will help you present the best possible version of you, and ensure you feel worthy of the job.
Normally an employer is not trying to catch you out in an interview, they are trying to fairly assess how you will perform if you are given the role, so they will be assessing EVERYTHING about you from how you speak, what you say and do, and how you appear visually. (How you appear is something else you can prepare in advance, so you’re not worried about that on the day). You’ve already got the interview because you’ve got the knowledge, experience and/or skills they are looking for. Now is your time to shine above any competition, in visually presenting YOU.
Remember that the organisation is trying to sell themselves to you! If they don’t give the best impression, you may decide the role, workplace, manager or team aren’t for you. So you are assessing them too.
There are some negatives that will detract from all the preparation you’ve done, if you do not pay attention to these:
- Unkempt, greasy hair.
- Dandruff – this can increase because of stress. If you are worried about being unemployed you may suddenly find you are suffering from this. Of course you can do some research to see how to alleviate this, but if it is a problem you can’t sort in time, you can disguise it by what you wear (for example lighter coloured tops and with a pattern, even in the weave). Also, pop to the bathroom before your interview and shake out your jacket, or brush yourself off.
- You may feel under-confident if you have breakouts on your face – is there anything you can do to reduce or disguise these (maybe with make-up)? (I know a couple of skin specialists who can advise, but it may take a few days or weeks to sort, so you should start thinking about this in advance if you can.)
- When it comes to make-up, I advise a light amount. If you aren’t used to wearing any, you should practice a few days before to ensure you apply it well. As a make-up artist, I usually ask what someone is going to wear to apply complementary colours, so you will need to think about your outfit (and try it on to make sure it fits, is comfortable and all works together) a few days before too. Visit a department store make-up counter if you can, or look up YouTube videos, to get advice and some hints, or contact me.
- Lipstick needs to be a flattering shade. Some lipsticks will make you look drawn or fierce, so you need to get this right. This is to do with colour analysis, and I can advise from what you already have.
- Knowing what you will wear and that you look your best will give you confidence. This should be part of your preparation. You probably don’t need to buy something new, and in fact wearing something you know suits and fits you is comforting. Your clothes need to be appropriate for the interview/organisation, and you can find out if there is a dress code before you attend. I would advise a skirt or dress not to be too short or tight, and to dress smarter than not, even if the dress code is “smart/casual” or “business casual”. These have different meanings, and in different workplaces different interpretations.
If your first “interview” is through the internet, which is becoming more common nowadays, you may give thought to how you appear on screen, what your background and lighting is like, and how to operate the software. I would advise a practice in advance too, to check all sorts of things like sound, ensuring there aren’t noisy distractions and pets or children demanding attention, and that you have switched your mobile phone off, if you aren’t using that.
Your clothing colour choices will be important too. Your clothes do say a lot about you, including whether you are confident or hiding behind them. This is something we can talk about to ensure you bring out your best side and don’t make yourself look old or ill, which I did before I knew which colours suited me best. Read to the end of this blog for a special offer to help you.
- Jewellery needs to be discrete and appearance-enhancing, not a distraction from you and your words.
- Nails need to be neat and clean. Be aware that they can be a distraction too, if they are brightly coloured. Some organisations or industries do not allow nail polish, or very colourful nail polish. Do check this out before your interview, or play safe and just use a clear polish.
- Hosiery – You absolutely must wear hosiery to a face-to-face interview, no matter how hot it is! (It is the finishing touch.) And, I recommend you take a spare pair if you are attending in person, just in case of a snag on the way!
- Shoes – need to be comfortable and clean. Shoes also say a lot about you and in a face-to-face situation can be the differentiator between you and the next candidate. Show you care and bother, by turning up with very clean and polished shoes.
So, if you’ve read this far and are still undecided how to make the best of your appearance for your next visual interview, please take me up on the offer of a FREE 10 minute conversation about what you can wear to make the best impression. Contact me by phone or through my website and we can arrange a time to chat through Skype, Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp Video etc.
Your Colour & Style Consultant