Getting an interview means that an applicant looks good on paper, has written an alluring CV and has the potential to be a good employee; the candidate now has to convince the interviewer that she will be a GREAT employee and an asset to the company in order to secure that job! The first step towards this is ensuring you look the part; nobody wants to employ someone with dirty, untidy hair, filthy finger nails and scruffy shoes, so the candidate must scrub up, sit up and sparkle before even considering what to wear!
A Few Do’s and Don’ts
A candidate’s choice of clothing gives that vital first impression and must incorporate several factors:
• It should reflect the position on offer: a sharp, designer suit might be a little over the top for a pre-school assistant, but a comfy cardigan and trainers will not cut it for the CEO of a multinational company either.
• The candidate needs to dress age appropriately. If applying for a first job and just out of college, trying to dress like a mature business woman will give an impression of dowdiness, but a mature woman dressing like a college leaver is likely to be branded ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ – definitely not the impression to give a potential employer!
• Necklines shouldn’t be too low, nor hemlines too high – managers will not appreciate half the workforce being distracted!
• Footwear is another important issue. A pair of chic boots may add a trendy dimension to an outfit, but if this is a summer appointment a pretty court shoe may stop the wearer feeling uncomfortably hot. (It is also a good idea not to go for the highest heels available; nobody wants to be remembered as the girl who went sprawling across the office to land in a heap at the managing director’s feet.)
Also, keep your make-up fairly neutral and neatly applied. It’s best not to opt for anything dramatic like false eyelashes or a bold red lip. Instead, keep it subtle with a pale pink lipstick, a healthy bronze glow, a coating of mascara and nicely groomed eyebrows. The face I created below on myself work an important meeting at work does just that and is how I would describe ‘on point’ for a job interview. Nude-pink lips and subtle yet glowing eyes…
A key point is to remember to be yourself; if everybody followed the same format and dressed in similar ‘interview clothes’, there would be no sense of individuality to appeal to the interviewer. This is a real balancing act, but getting the right combination of style and personality will show a competent and conscientious candidate and help to secure that all-important job.
Where to Begin?
Unless the job in question is a buyer for a top fashion house or sub-editor at Vogue, it is unlikely that an applicant will be expected to look like she has just stepped off the catwalk, but showing an interest in current trends certainly gives the impression of somebody who knows what is going on around them. A good strategy is to find a few investment pieces that really suit the individual, both in personality and shape. For example, a woman who is comfortable in jeans or leggings is more likely to feel at home in a well-cut trouser suit than a dress, whereas someone who loves feminine skirts would probably be uncomfortable in a pair of stylish flares, even if they were this season’s best seller. Buying a few quality separates and teaming them with a scarf in this season’s colours or shoes and handbag that reflect an appreciation of what is currently on-trend gives scope for individuality and versatility, leaving you feeling more at ease and able to discuss issues concerning the job rather than wondering if spending a year’s salary on one neon green outfit was a mistake.
It is worth doing some research and discovering what is about fashion-wise and how this would work for you. A good starting point might be a website that not only reflects what’s hot on the high street, but offers a good deal too, such as Couporando, where a range of big high street names offer vouchers with amazing discounts. Visit them at CoupoRando and enjoy shopping for that all-important interview outfit with the benefit of fantastic savings. Then all that’s left to do is smile, sparkle and get that job. Good luck!