How to Dress to Impress (for an interview)
The last two weeks I’ve had the joy of sitting at home doing very little, other than heading into town to attend two interviews during my first week off. It’s been bliss!
My most recent contract (you know, the one with the stress) came to its conclusion the other week, so I decided to have this this break so I could focus on finding a permanent opportunity, rather than accepting a new contract straight away.
And those two interviews attended? They turned into a job I started yesterday!
The success of my two interviews (first and second round for the same job) got me thinking about the whole interview process and the small things we can do to improve our success rate, and secure that job offer. See, if we get to the interview it means that we’re one of the top three or four contenders for the role – they have read our experience, like what they see, so now they just need to make sure we’re a real, physical person, and if we’re the right “fit” for the organisation.
You have already made your first impression with your CV, but now we need to reinforce that impression, and improve upon it. We are real, we are the best fit for the role, and we are an asset to the organisation.
So, how do we build upon that first impression, how can we stand out and leave a lasting image in the interviewer’s head so at the end of the interview they remember us, and ultimately offer us the job?
There are so many different aspects of a successful interview, from how to act, what to (or not) to say, and how to dress. Today I am just going to focus on the “How to Dress” aspect, with posts on the other aspects to follow later.
So, with that said, how exactly do we dress to impress in interviews?
We’ve all heard the terms “Statement Piece” and “Pop of Colour” and I think these are very important when it comes to interviews. An interview isn’t a fashion show, but wearing an outfit that makes you feel confident but also makes you stand out, can show off your personality. Sometimes, a nice necklace, or brightly coloured blouse is the difference between “The lady wearing the black suit… no, no, the other one” and “The lady with the black suit, and pink blouse.”
A statement piece, by the way, is one accessory that compliments your outfit, but still stands out from it – think chunky earrings, a brooch, statement necklace, cocktail ring, or even a dress or blazer with an unusual cute. Pops of colour would be wearing a coloured blouse, dress or blazer, or brightly coloured shoes with the remainder of your outfit remaining black (or navy).
Another point, more important than the above, is to make sure whatever you wear fits you properly, and there should be no mini skirts, no cleavage.
You are not Ally McBeal and this is not the 90’s.
Now regarding makeup, this might cause a bit of a stir!
You know how nobody likes clowns? This is because they’re concealing their features behind facepaint, and so it interferes with our natural ability to connect with them, and makes us not trust them. It’s a subconscious thing, and we’re not even aware of it, but knowing this means you can control how people perceive you.
If wear too much makeup to an interview, the interviewer may find it hard to empathise, connect, or relate to you. Natural, neutral, or down-played looking makeup gives you a more trustworthy, and relatable look that will draw people to you.
For your interview keep it simple, but keep it you – rock the red lip, or winged liner if that’s your style but don’t make it over the top. This is an interview, not Instagram. Remember, conservative doesn’t mean bland or boring, it means personable, and friendly, and you want the interviewer to see you, not your makeup.
Finally, dress for the job you are interviewing for: don’t wear 6 inch heels, glitter, three layers of false lashes, or bouffant hair of you are being interviewed for a role within a corporate environment. You are going to an interview, not a party, so be sensible, but at the same time be you.
If you feel confident and comfortable in your chosen outfit, they’ll feel confident and comfortable offering you the job!
All outfits styled from items available at H&M.