First impressions are everything! It is important to note that up to 60% of the hiring decision is made within the first three minutes of the interview, so your impression is critical! By preparing for the interview, both physically and mentally, you will feel more organized and ready for the meeting. It is natural to feel somewhat nervous about an interview. Take consolation, though, being nervous means you care.
Your Visual Effect
Consider the following tips to market yourself in the best possible manner.
Be conservative. For business and professional positions, a suit with a jacket or a tailored dress for woman is a great choice. For men, a matching jacket and pants with a tie and light colored shirt is appropriate. Always dress a step above the standard attire for the job.
Ideally, the BEST colors to wear to an interview are:
- Black worn with white
- Dark Purple
- Ivory (for woman)
AVOID colors such as:
- Red…can be seen as threatening and distracting
- Green…makes people think of money and may tend to distrust you
- Orange…is an appetite stimulant
- Yellow…tries the eyes
- Pink or Peach…tend to calm people down
Here are some things to remember and to avoid. You want the interviewer to remember you for your answers, not hair being in your face or awful perfume.
Closed toe shoes for both men and women. No sandals, clogs, or mules-not too trendy or faddish. Be certain they are clean, polished, and in good repair-no run-down or frayed heals.
When wearing a suit or dress, women should always wear hose and a slip. Avoid colored hose, it is best to wear neutral shades like nude, tan, off-black, or other natural shades. Men should wear dark matching socks.
Large rings (and more then two) can affect your impression. Avoid dangling jewelry, chunky necklaces, several bracelets, large earrings, etc. They can be distracting and unappealing. Modest, sparse, low-key accessories are best.
What to carry
Handbag or briefcase…not both. (Remember to have extra copies of your resume, a copy of your application, a list of your references, as well as a pen and paper inside your briefcase.
A controlled, subtle style is best, usually pulled away from the face.
Less is best. Only the slightest cologne or aftershave, if any, to avoid an overpowering, offensive smell. Just because you think it smells good, doesn’t mean others will. Also keep in mind that some people are allergic to perfume or cologne.
Hands and Nails
Clean and well cared for…no bright or odd-colored nail polish. Clear, light, or neutral-colored polish on active-length nails is most appropriate.
Hats, gum, the smell of cigarette/cigar smoke, nail biting, chipped polish, sunglasses, out-dated glasses, slit skirts, sleeveless shirts, low neck lines, too short pants, tight or baggy clothing, threads hanging, jangling keys or pocket contents.
And remember, these are only suggestions, every job is different. Don’t be afraid to use some common sense when you apply these guidelines.