Sonam Kapoor in a professional look. Photo credit: Pinterest
Interviews are an important part of our careers, and we are under tremendous pressure, in a time-bound environment, to impress with our personality and know-how of the subject. Unfortunately, our looks are judged from the moment we walk into the interview room, and that somewhere starts defining the conversation forward. So here are few personal styling tips that can help us prepare better, and improve our chances at landing that most yearned job.
1. Less is more when it comes to accessories: Anything that may end up distracting the interviewer must be avoided. So nothing chunky, or over-the-top. Minimal accessorizing in terms of jewellery pieces, belts, brooches, purses, et cetera, is advised. (Here are 7 types of earrings under Rs. 500 for office.)
2. Hair neatly tied or cut, giving the face a clear look: Open, unmanaged hair, crowding or covering the face, take away the seriousness of the meeting. Hence, it is vital that the face is clearly visible from a distance as well, for an interview comprises not only verbal, but also non-verbal communication like facial expressions, body language and so on. In that short duration, no one has the time or energy to put that extra effort to look for your eyes under your tresses. (Here are 10 quick hair tips for super-busy working women.)
3. Research the establishment environment: Companies are very big on 'organizational culture' these days, and an integral part of it is dressing. Whether formal, semi-formal or casual, please research it well enough to not look out of place in the first glance. You should look the part, to be a part of anything. Hence, dress accordingly. (Here’s why you should dress like your boss.)
Workwear should always be neatly ironed, with minimal accessories. Photo credit: Kraftbuy.com
4. Well-fitted, ironed garments: As a token of mutual respect, wear decent outfits, neither too tight, too revealing nor too loose. If you can't wear a well-fitting, ironed outfit, how can an interviewer find you a befitting resource who will be able to iron out situations and be a solution provider and not be a messed up, problem child? (Here are tips on what to wear on your first day to work.)
5. Personal hygiene: Always remember to treat others like you would want to be treated. Hence, body odour and smelly breaths have no place, especially, in an interview room. Use a mild eau de toilette or perfume, nothing too overbearing, to smell fresh. Drink water or chew gum before enter the meeting if you find your breath smelling. The gum should be disposed before meeting begins! (You don’t have to spend a bomb on hygiene. Here’s how to make your natural own sprays and wipes at home.)
Makeup should be kept understated for a job interview.
6. Basic makeup: To evenly tone the facial skin and hide any blemishes, discolouring or marks, makeup is a good tool. Used in excess, however, it can be another big distracting factor from the major course of discussions and actions. Hence, nothing too coloured or bright should be plastered on the face and neck area. (Here is a basic makeup guide for every working girl.)
7. Carry a neat bag: For a calm, collected presence, avoid carrying multiple things in your hands like papers, pens, notepads, wallets, purses, laptops, folders and so on. Always have a decent, neat, not-too-overstuffed bag to carry all desired material for your interview. This will help keep your hands clean and available for a firm hand shake. (Read this to know what your bag says about your personality.)
8. Footwear: We’re talking decent, clean, well-fitting, polished shoes with fresh socks for guys, and sandals, peep-toes or pumps with decent heels to a maximum of 2-3 inches high for girls. A point that the girls must bear in mind is that the entrance to the interview room is the first point of impression. Shoes that make too much noise or that make your walk look awkward creates a hole in your first impression and, hence, the right heel and the right fit are vital. (Here are 4 Instagram handles to inspire your office dressing.)
Last but not the least, remember it is work that you are meeting for, not for a party. So behave, dress and express in the desired professional manner.
Neeraj Gaba is one of India’s leading personality development experts. With an MBA from Leeds Business School, he is a holistic grooming expert and mentor on India's Next Top Model aired on MTV. Read more posts from him on his Fashion101 Blog.