Sunday, August 14, 2011

You’re Going On Your First Job Interview…What Should You Wear (or Not Wear)

This is a Don't......  
unless you work at the MAC counter.
The first thing you should do is make sure all visible tattoos are covered; hopefully, you don’t have any on your face. The second thing to do is remove your nose ring, your lip ring, your chin ring, your eyebrow ring, your tongue ring, your ear cartilage ring, your nipple ring, your hoo-ha ring; just remove all your head and body jewelry before you meet the HR representative. The key is to not make noise as you move. You know what--don’t even wear earrings, just to be safe.

If you are interviewing anywhere remotely connected to the corporate arena, please do the following to put together an easy universal look that will work for most job interviews: purchase the best black or navy suit you can afford (pants or skirt - it doesn't matter), along with a tailored blouse or top (white is best) as well as black shoes with a reasonable heel - nothing hoochy mamma. If you're wearing pants, don’t forget a nice belt with a silver buckle--nothing with chains, sheriff badges, antlers or sequins on it--just a plain silver buckle…kind of like the Pilgrims but smaller.  You can wear pantyhose, or not; however, if you're wearing a skirt be sure to shave and moisturize your legs. I'll never forget the woman I once interviewed for a sales job who didn't wear stockings and had not shaved her legs. I couldn't stop looking at her caveman leg stubble. She was unforgettable...and not in a good way.  

Splurge and get a manicure. Ask to have your nails cut shorter. Get Essie’s Limo-Scene on your nails.  It’s pale pink, natural looking, and looks like a French manicure but lasts longer. I hope you already know you shouldn’t have talons. Check your nose for boogers and your teeth for spinach. Sounds silly, but it's mortifying to make these discoveries after the interview is over.

Your make-up should be simple as well: no Joker-Mouth lipstick. Just a little foundation, a small amount of blush, and mascara. Chanel makes a nice lip gloss, #87, that's a pale pink. Put this on after you've used Lancôme's "Ideal" lip liner and it defines your face but looks natural.

If your hair is long make sure you've had a recent cut and be sure to get a touch up if your roots are showing. This is not the time for weasel nest hair – no Amy Winehouse (RIP) or Lily Munster do's. Get a bob if your hair is on the shorter side, or wear a ponytail if it’s longer…the simpler the better.

Lagos Caviar Fluted Bracelet $395

Lagos Caviar Luxe Bracelet $395

Lagos Caviar Bracelet $395

Lagos Caviar Bar Bracelet $395
Now…down to the jewelry. In this case, it’s much better to underdress than overdo. Maybe a silver bracelet, like one of the Lagos Caviar bracelets. There are four designs, and they are relatively inexpensive and extremely wearable at all times, even after your interview. You should wear a watch on your other wrist. I know the younger generation uses their cell phones to tell time, but guess what: you’re killing the watch business. Please buy a nice watch. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a watch on one’s wrist has been a style standard for eons. If I were living in the Stone Age, I would have strapped a sundial on my arm – that’s how important I feel a watch is. Plus, it’s considered rude to take out your cell phone anytime during the interview process; it’s much easier to look at a watch instead, and your interviewer won't think you're checking your messages. As a matter of fact, be sure to turn your cell phone off. Now, go look for that watch you got as a graduation gift and see if it still works.

If you promise to remove all hardware, you could wear pearl studs, diamond studs, or small silver or gold hoops in your ears if you have them. If you don’t have a discreet earring, don’t wear any. This is not the time for your Gypsy La Straga or Jersey Shore jewelry. Go small or not at all.  

This is a Do - almost everywhere.
All this being said, if you are interviewing outside of the corporate world, you could ramp it up a notch or two, but don’t go crazy. Once you have the job, check out the people who have the job you aspire to. Their appearance can give you an idea of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Remember that boring saying, “first impressions count”?  Guess what...they still do.  

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