What is that magical element that you have to pay special attention to when preparing for a professional interview? The number one secret behind the job-landing attire is simply being appropriate. Since different companies seek different profiles, we have to make sure we come across as their niche. However, this entails a number of aspects, such as clothes colour palette, cut and fit, material, as well as hair, makeup and accessories.
Although the common office “uniform” often includes hues like black, dark/light grey, navy blue and white, more and more companies are walking away from this uneventful colour palette.
Still, there’s a way to complement one of these colours in a monochrome ensemble with the smart use of accessories or accent pieces. For example, an elegant black jumpsuit paired with a same coloured chic jacket can be refreshed with a pair of delicate pendant earrings, discreet gold belt or classy animal print shoes. The same outfit can be matched with a red or white blazer for contrast.
Design and fit
First and foremost, wear the clothes that actually fit. Clothes bursting at the seams and unsightly bulges in the wrong places certainly don’t make a good first impression. Still, if you’re a bit on the curvy side, don’t deny yourself the sophisticated effect a dress can have. There are so many wonderfully tailored plus size dresses on the market that can make you look stunning and job-appropriate.
In addition, wear the clothes that go well with your body shape. For instance, straight body type can be subtly accentuated at the waist with a mid-width belt, while wide hips in pears can be softened with dark-coloured high-rise pants. Finally, short pants, mini-skirts and plunging cleavage are a definite faux pas.
Don’t choose tweed or any overbearingly structured, thick material if you’re applying for a playful, young-spirited job, since the last thing you want to come across is like a fuddy-duddy, all-work-no-play kind of person. This, however, doesn’t work if you’re applying for a fashion related job, where a classic Chanel jacket may just do the trick.
The general rule is to avoid transparent fabrics or anything too fluffy that sheds around the place. Classic smooth-weave cotton is a foolproof option. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t “push” a material (like cashmere) that belongs to another season just because that piece you have is fantastic.
Hair and makeup
Whether it’s short or long, the first thing you have to do is put the hair away from your face. Messy hair that covers your face makes you look like you have something to hide.
Even though the last few seasons have been all about funky hair colours, such as blue, rose and green, the business environment is usually not the best place to sport these. If you just got one of these shades, make sure to pull your hair in a classy bun that doesn’t reveal too much of your hair colour. In any case, opt for a simple pulled-back coiffure, and make sure it’s neat and clean.
When makeup is concerned, it’s best to go with the neutral look that’s also in, this year. If you really want to stand out, don an Oxblood lipstick, but tone down the other elements.
Leave the chunky jewellery and eccentric ensembles to Karl Lagerfeld, and don’t overdo it with accessories. A single power ring, striking earrings or a statement necklace are more than enough, but steer clear of Red-Carpet pieces. Combine it with a good watch that matches the style of your outfit and you’ll instantly come across as someone who respects other people’s time and schedule.
The holy grail of interview dress code secrets is knowing how to dress for the industry you’re trying to get into. These are some of the basic advice on how to style yourself for such an occasion.