Last Week Justin wrote about what the job seeker can learn from Kate Middleton. He told us that as job seekers, it isn’t about what you know, but who you know, and that dressing for success is key. Justin glossed over the dressing for success tips, saying that he didn’t want to bore you – but I am going to provide a list of things to think about in terms of dressing for success – things you may not have thought about before. There’s more to it than throwing on a suit and carrying a briefcase.
- Fresh: Clean and neat should be a first priority.
- Simple is better: You want the interviewer to notice and remember you, not your clothes.
- Plan Ahead: Make sure that your clothes fit and are in good condition days before the interview so that you have time to handle any unforeseen circumstances. The last thing you need the morning of an interview is to worry about your clothes.
Know the Industry:
- A copywriter, fashion merchandiser and senior account executive are all likely to dress a little bit differently for an interview – make sure you think about the type of job you are applying for and the industry that it is a part of.
- It is important that you do research on the company and industry you are applying for throughout all stages of the career transition, especially if it is one that is new to you. Figuring out what to wear is no exception. Try to figure out what the work environment is like – is it relaxed or more strict? Check out their Twitter and Facebook pages where companies are often more candid. If you know someone who works there, ask what the norm is.
- Better Safe than Sloppy: If you don’t know, it’s better to be a little overdressed than underdressed – wear a suit.
Don’t Underestimate Comfort:
- There is a big different between being in the comfort of your own home, standing in front of your mirror and the final interview situation. First of all, you have to get to the interview. When you’re standing in your bedroom, those high heels or stiff loafers may be fine, but what about after walking four blocks from where you parked to where you’re interviewing? Think about it and choose accordingly.
- What is the temperature outside? What is the temperature likely to be inside? If you’re sweating profusely or shivering while you’re being interviewed, it could be a distraction for the interviewer. Dress in layers so that transportation to and from the interview and the interview itself is as comfortable as possible while maintaining professionalism and avoiding distractions.
- You never know what you could be asked to do in an interview. You could be walking around the office, sitting at a table or even walking outside. Be prepared for a change in activity, temperature and scenery.
Face the Facts:
Your clothes are important; they are a nonverbal form of communication that tells the interviewer something about you. But your face is even more important. Be sure to be clean and neat in terms of skin care, facial hair and make-up. But don’t stop there. Make sure to bring water, Chapstick and tissues. When you’re nervous your mouth may become dry and chapped lips may be a consequence. If your nose is running or your forehead is sweaty, you’ll be glad you had those tissues on hand.
If you’d like more information or would like some more general guidelines, we have listed a few websites that could be of the most use for you:
- Alison Doyle for About.com –Dressing for Success, How to Dress For an Interview
- Peter Vogt for Monster.com – Dressing for the Interview by Industry
- eHow money – How to Dress for a Job Interview
Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.