Preparing yourself for an interview is critical and selecting the right look and the right attire is of the utmost importance. While the list can be extensive and highly dependent on the industry and role, here are a few tips that our expert recruiters offer to our candidates as they prep to showcase themselves.
Grooming: If you are a woman, a manicure with a non-offense color, clean hair, and nicely done makeup are absolutely critical components to winning that 2nd round interview or that job. If you are a man, a clean shave, nicely combed hair, and nicely manicured nails are those critical grooming components. Not following these sends a message to your prospective employer that there is a lack of care, you don’t pay attention to detail, or that you simply aren’t polished. It tends to distract the interviewer from focusing on what you have to offer the company, so pay attention before it’s too late.
Makeup: Fresh and natural is the goal. Accentuate an eye or a lip – not both. You should look as natural as possible. Less is more in this case.
Scent: Your scent can have an enormous effect on your interviewer. There is nothing less appealing than walking into an interview smelling like smoke or too much perfume/cologne. Scents are memorable and you want it to be a pleasant one. Remember what I said above- less is more.
Shoes: This one is for all the women out there. If you are wearing heels make sure you can walk comfortably and confidently in them. They do not have to be 5-inch heels either. The goal is to look professional, feel professional, and reflect the brand’s image you are interviewing with. You should have the foresight to expect your interview to go well and the interviewer to walk you through the office, introducing you to their colleagues along the way. If walking in those heels is trouble for you, this could be the demise of your candidacy.
Piercings: Earrings are nice, but should never overtake your ears (man or woman), and piercings elsewhere should be removed for your interviews. Win that job and respect the process with a professional foot forward, then feel free to show them your piercings and creative side if the brand embraces it.
Culture: If you are not interviewing for that big law firm or investment bank job then dressing for the culture will be incredibly important. For example, if you are a creative professional interviewing with other creative professionals then showing up in a suit would not make any sense. If you’re interviewing for a corporate finance role with the CFO of the organization though, dressing like you are part of the creative team (jeans, sneakers, and a button-up) just will not fly. Be thoughtful and ensure your dress is targeted to your audience. Nowadays there is such a thing as overdressed for interviews.
The Part: Make sure you dress the part. First impressions are important and you want to make sure the client knows that you understand their customer and culture. DON’T overdo it though and remember comfortable is key. You radiate positivity and confidence when you have dressed the part. Dress well, feel well.
Accessories: Never over-accessorize. Too much jewelry, too many rings, too big of a watch, too many necklaces, all take away from what’s critical and that is YOU! While there will be circumstances to accessorize (like interviewing with one of our fashion clients) the rest of the world needs to focus on you and too many accessories are distracting.
The Line: Remember this is a professional interview. Your attire should not be overly revealing or border on inappropriate. As a woman, your dress or skirt should not be too short, and your shirt or top should not be cut too low. For the men out there, make sure that your clothing is tailored properly. If you have to wear the suit, make sure it fits, and along the way ensure you are tucking in that shirt and wearing a properly fitting belt and pants.
Smile & Greeting: Two key ingredients are to wear your best possible smile (warmth and positivity go a VERY long way) and to practice your greeting and introduction. Suck that interviewer right in.
Black: When in doubt, wear black.