The smallest details can set you apart from your competitors in a job interview, so it’s crucial that you look professional, capable and confident without going overboard.
Do you know that the job interviews you go for actually start much before you even say the word “Hi”? What you say during your interview or how you behave come much later – the first impression is created the moment you walk into a room. From head to toe, what you wear and how you wear it screams out your personality, seriousness for the job, understanding of where you want to work and your attention to detail – or lack thereof.
Many a job has been lost because the interviewee wasn’t dressed right. “You want your ensemble to say ‘I have good judgement, I am responsible, socially adept and it shall take a true visionary like you to hire me,” says Meha Bhargava, founder-CEO, Styl.Inc Image Management Consultants.
The smallest of details can set you apart from your competitors. It’s crucial that you look professional, capable and confident without going overboard. Extremes of any kind, for example, red nails or flashy handbags are a strict no. Be it your first job interview, or your 100th, the fact remains that you want to be hired and the basics shall remain the same for each of your interview.
Here are some useful style tips from Bhargava, whose background as a personality trainer and image consultant with the best of brands stands her in good stead to know what’s needed to start off an interview with the right first impression.
First, what you wear will need to be tweaked according to which stage of your career you’re in and the position for which you’re giving the interview:
1. First Interview: Wear a pair of well-fitted dark trousers teamed with a bright-coloured top and a black blazer. One can take up the attire a notch higher by accessorising a little by wearing decent-sized studded earrings, such as a pair of pearls or white diamonds will be perfect and add a feminine touch.
2. Corporate Interview: Tapered pants are not fit for formal interviews, rather a straight or relaxed fit grey/black/navy trousers teamed with a nice silk cream or pastel-coloured blouse and a matching jacket can work for your look. If you are a little creative, you can colour coordinate your attire or pair neutrals with subtle yet vibrant colours. However, do not over do it.
3. Start-Up Interview: Easy here! Start-ups are usually not run by the older generation and semi-formal can work well for an interview here. Wear well-fitted denims with a smart T-shirt, though with no slogans written on it, and match it with a sporty jacket. It should look effortless.
Tip: Any look can be amped up with the humble blazer or jacket. To portray a formal look or add a dash of perkiness to a casual attire, a blazer works best. Even in the peak of summer, a light jacket can beautifully pull your look together. It spells poise, maturity and conveys professional energy.
Here are some other pointers to keep in mind while dressing for an interview:
* When in doubt, neutral colours are guaranteed to work together.
* Avoid loud jewellery (specially dangling or clattering ones) – you are attending an interview, not heading to a disco night.
* Do not wear heavy make-up. Soft, feminine and everyday make-up is the key.
* Avoid shiny, sequinned or glittered fabrics that can be quite distracting, and portray a negative image.
* Do not wear a revealing top or outfit with a lot of skin on display. It is a strict no-no.
* Teaming up accessories with a watch is a must, for that matter you can still leave out on earrings if you do not feel like wearing them but never forget to wear a watch.
* If not manicured, trim or file your nails to perfection, it speaks volumes.
* Do not walk-in chewing gum in your mouth, trash it before you enter the workplace.
* Keep your hairdo tidy and neat. Do not let it fly around; and if it is too hard to handle tie it up in a chic ponytail.