As the weather gradually warms up and we are approaching the end of spring semester, the summer job hunt begins. Resumes are being revamped, dozens of applications are being submitted in a frenzy and emails are being checked in 15-minute intervals. If this initial application phase goes well, the interview phase will soon follow suit. These interviews give future employers their first impression of a possible employee so looking professional is essential to success.
My first job interview did not go as smoothly as I would have liked it to. I went in to talk to the manager of a Boys and Girls Club in my town on a June afternoon with record-breaking high temperatures. The heat had influenced my decision to wear a simple teal skirt and an off-white blouse I had stolen from my mother’s closet. As I was pulling on the blouse to try and remedy the issue I noticed just how low cut it was. I made a mental note to ask my mother why she opted to purchase such promiscuous professional clothing and then scavenged through my glove box and under my car’s seats until I came across a safety pin. I then tried my best to close up the shirt so it would have more of a neckline and less of a chest line.
Once that whole situation was all sorted out, I walked into the building and found the manager. I introduced myself and shook her hand in an extremely polite and professional manner. Nonetheless, I noticed her eyes swiftly flick down to the safety pin on my chest that was glinting under the florescent lights of her office. I sat down in a leather chair opposite her desk and began to answer the questions she asked me. I answered her questions quickly without any hitches. When the interview ended I was feeling confident and was even starting to forget about the safety pin. Or at least I was until we both stood up. While my skirt was not particularly short or inappropriate, it was not long enough to stop my thighs from adhering to the chair. My legs separating from the leather made a loud unpleasant ripping noise that sounded and felt like duct tape being pulled off of skin. The skirt-related problems continued when the manager walked me out the door and watched as a powerful gust of wind forced me to drop my bag and wrangle my skirt down in order to avoid flashing her.
You may be wondering why I am sharing this highly embarrassing tale with you. I happen to think it teaches a very important lesson, otherwise I would bury it deep within my archive of other humiliating moments. Even if you are the most confident speaker in the world, if there is anything wrong with your physical appearance your stock as a potential employee will decrease significantly. That’s just how it is.
I suggest that you go out and actually purchase an appropriate interview outfit. Stores like H&M and Nordstrom Rack offer a vast selection of fashion forward and affordable blazers. A blazer is a simple way to make yourself look put together and confident. Just be sure you select one with a proper fit so you don’t look like an eighties mobster.
Though a blazer is standard interview uniform, it is wise to look into the other kinds of apparel that is worn in the place you will be interviewing at. It is alright to display your personality through your clothing choices as long as the pieces you choose to wear do not draw away attention from you. Avoid overpowering colors, flashy prints or any style that would make your grandmother uncomfortable if she saw you in it. Possible pieces you can mix together in order to achieve this look include a blouse and pencil skirt.
If you take my advice, you will avoid any rookie mistakes. Remember that before you even speak to your interviewer, they are formulating an opinion of you based on how you present yourself. This is why it is essential that you look as put together as you possibly can.