Appearance blunders than can undermine your interview
Salter’s Career Services department is all about one thing: getting you prepped and ready to go out and land a job.
But they can’t go on the interview for you. And they also can’t come over and give you a last-minute once-over before you walk out the door in your interview attire.
Chances are, you probably already know that you need to dress in more formal clothing than you might wear on the job. For example, a professional medical assistant job candidate shouldn’t wear scrubs to the interview.
Here are some other things to keep in mind to ensure that you look polished and professional during your job interviews.
1. It’s not all about clothes
Remember, your hands are the most important tools of your new trade – especially if you’re applying for a job as a professional medical assistant or a massage therapist, where you’ll be touching patients as part of your job duties.
Make sure that your hands are clean and that your nails are well groomed. Women may want to avoid flashy nail polish or extensively long nails.
Tip: Several days before the interview, start taking care to push your cuticles back after you get out of the shower. Nails and cuticles are easier to groom while they’re warm and soft.
2. Practice sitting down
An interview often means that you’re wearing clothes that you don’t normally wear. That unfamiliarity may mean that you’re not prepared for unexpected outfit quirks. For example, some pants may bunch up when you sit down. Button-down shirts may gape open at the button holes.
Practice sitting down in your complete outfit to ensure that you can anticipate any wardrobe malfunctions before you’re sitting across from the hiring manager.
Tip: For gaping buttonholes, two-sided poster tape may be enough to hold the shirt closed. If not, use safety pins inside the shirt, or consider going one size up.
3. Wearing too much makeup
Too much makeup or makeup in overly bright colors can distract from your professionalism. Until you get a feel for what’s acceptable in the work environment, it’s better to go for a more conservative look.
Tip: Shoot for neutral, natural shades. If you’re not confident with your makeup skills, ask a friend to help you perfect your interview look. Then, pop by Career Services and ask if your face looks interview-worthy.
4. Being unintentionally tacky
Yes, what’s considered tacky is often a matter of opinion. However, as we said before, it’s best to err on the side of conservative caution in interview situations. After all, you don’t want to lose out on a great job because of something as silly as forgetting to pull the tags off your new clothes … but it could happen.
Tip: Avoid colognes or perfumes, open-toed shoes, low-cut shirts, skirts that ride up when you sit (see #2), flashy jewelry, socks that don’t match or that aren’t appropriate for your pants (such as gym socks with dress slacks), wearing a tie with a short-sleeved shirt, and, of course, clothes with the tags still on them. Put on your entire outfit beforehand and ask a friend or family member to double check you for the “tacky factor.”
5. Not wearing stockings
Sorry, ladies! We know the trend is to skip the hosiery at the moment … but that doesn’t apply to job interviews. Bare legs and job interviews do not mix.
Tip: Go for muted, neutral shades and check for runs before you walk out the door.
Want more help prepping your interview look? Stop by Career Services for some professional guidance.