Acing the Interview | How to Look the Part

Flip-flops and ripped jeans, purple hair and nose rings. Mini-skirts and chewing gum, cleavage out and cell phone on. Please, please, please, do not do any of those things. These are a few of my least favorite things, well, in an interview at least.

Your resume could impress the CEO of Edelman. You know the difference between your, you’re, they’re, their, there, to, too. You can write a killer press release in under ten minutes. So, what is missing? The right look. This might seem like a trivial matter, but, before your mouth opens, your appearance speaks.

For a student or someone fresh out of college, the line between appropriate interview clothes and inappropriate might be a little fuzzy. Not only is that line fuzzy, it’s also very thin.  With our tips, you will never fail to impress your interviewer.

1.       Too much trendy

Try to avoid overly trendy items unless you’re applying somewhere that would appreciate it (i.e. a fashion PR firm). This isn’t saying you have to channel Hilary Clinton and wear a monochromatic pantsuit. If you’re applying somewhere with conservative taste, play up your look with a statement necklace or bracelet, and a fun pair of shoes. For the men, we encourage you to play up your look a little. Find a fun tie or pocket square to spice up your suit. No one says you have to wear a monochromatic suit either. The goal is to look professional, but like yourself.

 2.       Tame the mane

We both rocked an ombre for a while and loved it. Now, once again, if you’re applying somewhere that would appreciate a fun hairstyle, go for it, but for an average work environment, try to limit the risks you take with your hair (purple tips, a Mohawk, you know, edgy). Also, make sure you don’t go into an interview with oily or unkempt hair (that goes for the men, too)!

 3.       What’s that smell?

The last thing you want a potential boss to say after you leave is that you smelled terrible. This could mean anything from wearing too much perfume or cologne, to not showering at all. Smokers, absolutely do NOT smoke the day of an interview. The smell is overwhelming and impossible to disguise.

4.       “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

Do not drink the night before. Do not stay up late the night before. If you have to, treat yourself to lots of water before you crash and use Clinique’s All About Eyes Serum the morning of. I, Emily, swear by it. I have even gotten some men to jump on board and use it!

5.       Where’s your face?

Men, make sure any facial hair you have is trimmed and neat. Girls… all I can say is do not overdo the makeup. Who cares if your resume is A+ if all anyone can focus on is your clubbing makeup and ten-day-old beard?

6.       Length matters

If you would wear it to go out in, you shouldn’t wear it to an interview. Short skirts, low cut tops, leave them for your nightlife. Men, you probably do not think much about it, but make sure your pants aren’t awkwardly too short and that you have a proper fitting suit. Ill-fitting clothes can be distracting.

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