Appearance is form meeting function. In interviews, appearance could easily take in a huge percentage of your chance of making it. Here are some tips from the experts:
1) Blazers are good but…
While a blazer is a good go-to choice for almost any interview, be mindful of what you wear underneath, says Alison Doyle, one of the industry’s most highly-regarded career experts. Inevitably, she says, the deep-v formed by the blazer’s lapel creates a plunging neckline. “If you’re going to wear a camisole or a shell underneath, make sure it covers you appropriately. Of course, layering with a button-down is a no-fail option, too.”
Doyle says this applies to men, too. “Unless you’re interviewing in a casual environment, like at a start-up company, wearing a blazer on top doesn’t give you the excuse to wear a tired t-shirt underneath. Take the extra effort and put on a button-down or, at the very least, a v-neck sweater.”
2) Take it easy on the perfume
Doyle says you never know never know if your interviewer might have an allergy or aversion to strong scents.
3)Upgrade your wardrobe. In a tight job market, everything matters – including your overall appearance. If your wardrobe is outdated, or if you have been out of the workforce for awhile and your closet reflects it, invest in some modern, fashion-forward clothes to wear to your interview, Doyle suggests.
4) Tone down that make-up. While it’s important to look your best, loading on make-up is not the best way to go about it, according to Doyle. “Keep your look natural, avoiding dark eye shadow, bright lipstick or heavy foundation. Your best bet is to stick with a light coat of mascara, a touch of powder and some tinted lip balm. Aim to look refreshed and awake, without looking too done up,” she says.
5)Jangly Jewelry: Don’t wear more than two rings per hand or one earring per ear. And no face jewelry or ankle bracelets allowed.
6)Open-toed or backless shoes: And mules are a definite no-no. Out-of-date shoes should be thrown out or kept for other occasions.
7)Overly casual clothes. Even if you’re interviewing at a laid-back workplace, it’s still possible to take the casual concept too far, says Trevor Simm, founder and president of OpalStaff, a staffing solutions company. “Do not wear jeans, tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirts, hats, flip-flops, or any garments with messages or brands written on them,” he says. “For men wearing a suit, do not wear loud, obnoxious colors, busy-printed shirts or overly patterned ties.” Take the conservative approach, and save the fun stuff for after you’ve got the job.
8) Don’t wear anything distracting
There’s a fine line between standing out and wearing something that’s just distracting, says Stacy Lindenberg, owner of Talent Seed Consulting
“Better to choose subtle patterns over brighter ones, and dark or neutral clothing versus neon colors or anything distracting,” Lindenberg says. “You should be the focus of the interview, not your clothing.”