This time of year often marks the point when college students are beginning the search for jobs, though, as anyone knows, job searches are a year-round endeavor.
Lately, I’ve been reading tips about how to look your best for an interview, and I wanted to share a few thoughts on the subject.
The most important part of a job interview is keeping the attention on you — not on what you chose to wear that day or how you fixed your hair. Everything — your makeup, your clothes, even your accessories — should work to put you forward in the best light possible so that what you’re saying during the job interview can make the best impression.
Unless your new employer encourages creativity in dress — something like a tech start-up firm or art studio, perhaps — the key is subtlety.
That is true for both your clothes and the makeup you wear to the interview. When in doubt, go for more conservative hues in clothing, such as black, navy or tan, and keep your makeup subdued.
Then you can find a way to make the look stand out without shouting.
For example, a black suit paired with a mint green blouse or a beige top overlaid with a colorful scarf can add a splash of spring color without overpowering the look.
The same is true for makeup. You can emphasize one feature, such as an extra pop of color on the lips or sweep of shade on the eyes. But still, it is best to err on the side of caution. Bright red lips and heavy eyeliner may not go over well. You want the people you speak with to focus on you, not the makeup you’re wearing.
I know I keep coming back to nude nails, but this trend once again lets you look sophisticated without having nails that become a distraction during the interview. Nails should be well-shaped and freshly polished in a neutral shade or even with just a clear topcoat.
Don’t neglect your accessories. Shoes in particular can make a difference in how your whole look comes together. You want clean, unscuffed dress shoes. Your sandals may be adorable with your selected outfit, but there’s a chance they may not be allowed in the company’s dress code and they lack an air of professionalism. Instead, go for a pair of flats or low-heeled pumps.
Jewelry also is best held to a minimum. Think about possible pitfalls, such as several bracelets clanking together or long earrings swinging too much. Again, jewelry should be a part of presenting you, not draw too much attention to itself.
Revisit this chart for ideas on the best necklaces to pair with your blouse or dress neckline.
Finally, a practical briefcase or tote can be handy for keeping any paperwork you receive during the interview process and keeping your notebook at hand for anything you wish to jot down. This piece shouldn’t draw too much attention to itself, but you can have a little more fun here with patterns or color.
Kate Spade Emma Lane Maya shoulder bag, $248