Grooming guide for a job interview

The other day we talked about how to nail that job interview. Today I want to focus on what to wear and how to present yourself.

This varies from job to job. A corporate job is going to have a completely different vibe to a creative field and you need to consider that in your outfit choice. This post is based around an office/ corporate job as that’s what I have the most experience in and I think it’s where most of us can get a little stuck.

Either way these points are good for anyone to take into consideration and adapt as you need.

Like I said in the previous post, first impressions count. Aside from looking presentable for the employer if you look and feel good it will radiate out of you. No one wants to be there fidgeting and feeling like a frump.

Raid your own wardrobe first and see what’s suitable or you could even ask a friend to help keep the costs down, if both of those fail then it’s off to the shops you go…

Above all else make sure you dress to suit your personality while still keeping inside the guidelines.

A mini skirt may be your thing but this is not the place, you can try to push the wardrobe boundaries once you have the job and win everyone over with your dashing personality.

I once managed to pull off a Plaid flannelette shirt as a dress with tights and knee high boots, not a designer flannelette shirt either it was $15 from Big W. You would be surprised how a blazer can jazz things up. I had been in the job a while and knew the limits I could push.

Here are my top tips for dressing for a job interview.

CaptureImage via Polyvore

Plan your outfits
First up if you are actively looking for work, have 2 outfits pre planned, washed, ironed and ready to go. Most jobs these days have 2 interviews, know what you are going to wear ahead of time. Consider if you are more comfortable in a dress or a skirt/pants and a top. In this instance for an office environment I always dress in neutrals and add pops of colour in other ways like jewellery, handbags or shoes. That’s my personal choice, I like to add in different textures instead but if you love colour, go for it!

The most important thing is to feel comfortable, I once wore a dress that I hated but wore it as it looked corporate I was uncomfortable and regretted it the entire time. Incidentally I didn’t get that job and yes, I blame the dress. FYI this dress is now at the salvos…

Get your groom on
Your hair and make up are equally as important as your outfit choice. Using our office example make sure your hair is clean and tidy. When I had long hair (past shoulders) I would always wear it up in a sleek middle/low pony tail. Now that my hair is shoulder length I’d be happy to wear it down, always neat and in place.

If you choose to wear makeup, modest is always best for this type of work, try not to pack it on. I would definitely keep the eyeshadow/eyeliner to a minimum, using all neutrals and if you need to add in some personality go for a bold lip. I personally choose a peach natural lip colour as I feel more professional that way. But again, if bold lip colours are your thing, go for it!

Lastly if you wear nail polish make sure it isn’t chipped or scungy, I opt for a fresh neutral pink/ peach or crisp black if I’m feeling a little edgy. Regardless of what colour you choose, make sure your manicure is fresh and looking its best.

This tip isn’t for everyone but if you are a fake tanner make sure it is freshly done and looking perfecto. I pretty much always wear fake tan and right before an interview I make sure it is scale and blotch free.

 

Accessories
Use a professional looking handbag, it’s time to leave the boho inspired weekend tote at home. Look for a sleek handbag with clean lines. No one is saying you need to pull out a brief case, the bag can still have some personality but again make sure it is clean and not scuffed. I have a handbag especially for interviews, I got it from Kmart for $25, it’s black, sleek and finishes off my corporate attire perfectly.

Wear comfortable shoes that look professional, leave your glitzy stilettos for Saturday night and I personally stay clear from open toe. I do like to wear open toe shoes in a corporate environment but for an interview I play it safe, again adapt to your environment and personal style. Just a simple but classy black or tan pump with a reasonable heel that you can walk in easily, for me that is 8cm or less. Whatever you choose, ensure they are not scuffed or dirty.

As for jewellery, as long as you stay away from 1000’s of gypsy bangles, dangly earrings and cocktail rings I think this is where you can show your personal style. Don’t overdo it but if you are a fan of a statement necklace than this is your time to shine, it can finish off a plain black corporate dress perfectly and injects a bit of life into your outfit.

 

Smell like sunshine
Lastly I like spritz my perfume and chow down on a breath mint as some last minute insurance, you want to look and smell like sunshine. This trick is especially important if you’re a smoker make sure you do this perfume/ breath mint trick after. No one, not even other smokers, likes the scent of stale cigarette smoke on their clothes so be sure to spritz!

 

Voilà! Now that you’re looking all fly what are you waiting for? Go get ‘em!

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