First impressions are EVERYTHING. I think what a lot of people forget is that before you even open your mouth, you’ve made an impression. The minute you walked in the room, the moment you greeted the receptionist, what you looked like when you stood to greet your interviewer, how you took your seat: there are so many firsts during an interview, and most of them involve the way you look. Looking right probably won’t get you the job, but looking wrong can definitely LOSE you the job!
So what can you do to make sure you look your best, and equally as important, you look appropriate for the company? LISTEN UP!
1. Hydrate! It’s the simplest thing you can do to make yourself look and feel 100% better. A rule I like to follow is, aside from drinking water with meals, every time I sit down, whether it’s to read, relax, watch some TV, I put a glass of water next to me. It really ups your intake, and you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel!
2. Get a haircut. Nothing dramatic, just trim the ends, re-touch the color, keep your hair in good shape. I tend to feel like pulling your hair back into something sleek makes you look more polished and professional. For interviews with more creative companies, wearing your hair half down is acceptable, but always keep it looking neat. ** Also make sure your nails are trimmed and polished in a clear or light pink color.
3. Have your coffee a few hours before the interview, or save it for later. Especially if you tend to get jittery from caffeine, the last thing you want is your potential employer seeing your hands shaking or you tapping your foot. Your nerves will be high enough, no need to add caffeine to the mix.
4. Do a last minute hair/outfit/teeth check right before you walk in. Head to the local starbucks, a reflective store-front, wherever you can give yourself a good once over and make sure you haven’t spilled something on yourself or the humidity hasn’t ruined your hair.
5. Carry quick-fixes in your bag: oil absorbing sheets, tide-to-go, fashion tape, clear nail polish, heel inserts, concealer, and a hair smoothing serum usually do it for me. (Clear nail polish can actually remedy a wide range of situations, including stopping a run from starting in your tights, holding together a blouse if you’ve lost a button, etc.)
6. Do some research about the company culture. Dress professionally, always, but if the position you’re interviewing for is creative, you have a little more license to have fun with your outfit. ALWAYS dress to be the most dressed person in the room, because to be the LEAST dressed (professionally speaking) certainly hurts your chances.
7. AVOID: heavy perfumes, handbags that look too frilly, jackets that are difficult or complicated to slip on and off, heels that are too high, SANDALS (NEVER!!!), dark nail polish, excessive jewelery, and SMILE! It can go a long way! Try to make a connection- even the effort of trying to find common ground does wonders for putting another person at ease.
Go get em, tiger.