4.27.2011

How To: Look for an Interview




Let me start out by saying that every job interview is different; what you wear and how you look during an interview highly depends on the job itself. This particular look and the following guidelines are for a job interview in healthcare. If you were interviewing for a position in a company that is more fashion-forward (e.g., PR, assistant, consultant) I believe the dress could be a bit more bold, trendy, and fashionable. However, for many jobs the interview is less about what you look like and more about what you know - that was the case here. 

For this interview I wanted my resume and what I had to say to shine above everything else. This doesn't mean I threw fashion and beauty to the side, I just kept it as simple as possible. 

Attire. I kept things simple, but tailored. Instead of going with a classic, three-piece suit, I incorporated three different pieces and three neutral colors. I felt as though this kept the look professional, but still modern. Instead of adding color through accessories like a necklace or bracelet I added my color through my bag. 

Jewelry. The only jewelry I wore for this interview was large, pearl stud earrings (again, going simple and classic). However, I do think it would have been perfectly fine to put on a nice watch or even a simple necklace. I wanted to avoid anything that would have been too much. For example, multiple bracelets with a  watch would have looked nice, but would have made too much noise - very distracting when you're trying to sell yourself. 

Bag. Instead of carrying my purse and a bag with my resume and other relevant papers, and larger carry-all bag fit the bill. The large pockets on the side were great for easy access to pens and storage for my keys and there were pockets inside to house my wallet and cell (that was off!). The large bag not only offered a bit of color to my neutral look, but also was a simple and organized way to carry everything I needed. 

Makeup. If I had a detailed picture of my face you would see my makeup is light and neutral. I put a tiny bit of concealer under my eyes, dusted my face with mineral powder to even the skin tone, and added a light dusting of a pink, matte blush to give my cheeks definition and color. I did a light, neutral smokey eye (light brown on my lid and a skin-tone tan blended in my crease), a thin and short winged eyeliner to open my eyes, and a couple strokes of mascara. On my lips I, again, kept things natural by using a lipstick that was the color of my lips.

Perfume. Don't wear it. Not to an interview. What may seem like a light spray to you could be suffocating to the interviewer. Even if it's light, someone else could smell it and easily become distracted. 

Hair. Since my hair is longer I decided to go with an up-do. A simple ponytail, with a small section of my hair wrapped around the holder - to give a more polished look to a simple do. I didn't want my long hair in my face or all over the place during the interview. I considered just pulling and front pieces back and going with a half-up/half-down look, but the ponytail was just easier. 

Nails. I took any nail polish that was already on off. While neons and pastel nails are all over the place right now, I'm pretty sure your interviewer won't appreciate it (unless you're interviewing for a trendy company). Again, staying with the simple and non-distracting look I decided to take my pink nail polish off. If you are someone that can't go out of the house without their nails perfect and polished - that's fine. Just choose a neutral color that won't grab attention. 

Teeth. If you know of your interview in advance I would recommend using a teeth-whitening system. Even just a couple days of using white strips can make a difference. Bright white teeth are more pleasant to look at and aren't as distracting as yellow teeth - at least that's how I feel. Also be sure you brush your teeth, pop in a mint, or chew a piece of gum before the interview (but make sure you spit out the gum before going in - if you're forgetful, go with the mint). 

Other tips. Here are a few other grooming and preparing tips to consider.
Clean up your eyebrows by plucking outlying hairs.
Get a hair cut/trim before the interview - you don't want split ends all over the place. 
An interview is not the time to try out a new hair do or a new makeup look. 
Consider comfortable shoes - there may be a tour as part of the interview and if there's not, you should ask for one.
Get ready early. You never know what may come up or go wrong while getting ready (someone could stop by the house or your hair might not be cooperating).

In a nutshell these tips and guidelines are more on the basis of keeping your look clean and simple. I made sure nothing that I was wearing or anything else about my looks was distracting. Again, this interview wasn't about selling my personal style, but about selling myself, my knowledge, and my skills. Good luck on your next interview!


P.S. - I got the job!

50 comments:

Erin said...

Linley, this is a GREAT interview outfit. You look appropriate, yet still modern (a tough combination when talking interview-wear). Thanks for the how-to!

Rin said...

Congrats

Taylor Marie said...

This is such a great guide! Congrats on the job!

Laura said...

This could not have come at a better time as I have an interview tomorrow! So thanks for the tips, particularly regarding use of colors, jewelry hair etc. I wish I had thought to whiten my teeth!

Congrats on the job!!

Virginie Lavallée Bélanger said...

Wow Linley, I'm so happy for you that you got the job! This look is great and all your tips are on point, interviews can be so stressful and looking the part can help for sure.

Yay for your new job!!!

Virginie’s Cinema

Ashley said...

congratulations on the job, first of all!

Second of all, a million thanks from this Human Resources gal for telling people to not wear perfume. SO many people come in wearing wayyyy too much cologne/perfume to an interview (I guess because they want to be fancy?), and it's just suffocating. One of my interns this semester is pregnant and threw up during an interview she was sitting in on because a prospective employee's scent was too strong. It's always good to avoid that!

Tee said...

Congratulations Linley! What will you be doing?

Kelly said...

Great interview look! And you're totally right - simple and clean is key.

Congrats on getting the job!!

Kelly
Enterkelly.blogspot.com

GoodFrameofMind said...

Congrats girl!! Hope you enjoy your new position!

MP said...

You look very chic, and congratulations on the job! I hope this doesn't mean less posting from you since I just found your blog and have been enjoying it. ;)
Best of luck in your new position.

Marcia
http://stylenotebook.blogspot.com/

Liz said...

An official congrats on the job! Glad it's blog official. Ps, love the bag and the pop of red it gives the whole look!

Jessica Jenkins said...

Congratulations! I know interviewing for a new job takes a ton of planning on the mental front, so many people throw their image out the window! I actually just started at a new job this week and believe it or not, interviewed for the position three different times. Huge relief, congrats again!

kelseywilliams said...

congrats on getting the job, linley! i know you have worked so hard for it!

Fran said...

WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Franny

CessOviedo said...

I agree perfume is a must! If one wants to be remembered scent is the key!

Cess O. <3
The Outfit Diaries

daisymay aka Chantele said...

First yay for getting the job, well done!
Second this is a great post so spot on with everything.
And third I totally agree that this is focused towards a certain type of interview. Most interviews I have done I like to look a little more individual and modern so wear a dress, although I do own a number of suits for more serious interviews!

Daisy Dayz Home
Cross-Jones-Photography Home

Gertrude said...

You look great! And CONGRATS on getting the job :) xo

Courtney said...

These tips are GREAT! I am also interviewing (a grueling process!) so I really enjoyed reading this post. Congratulations on your new job! :)

Eclectic Flair said...

You look great and SO professional. CONGRATS on getting the job!!!

Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

Fashion Tales.... said...

The way that you broke this down in your own style was nice. Thanks! Good tips. Congrats!
Ladyofashion

Melody said...

Congradulations!!

Rachel said...

Congrats on the new job!

Thanks for the tips - I have an interview in the morning and am struggling on what to wear. It's for a Marketing Manager/PR position at Harley, so I think my usual black suit is out. Thanks for reminding not to wear perfume and to use the Crest white strips!It's been years since I had to interview, so fingers are crossed....

Kellie said...

This is a great look and post! Congrats on the job :)

Kristin said...

SO cute! Congrats on the job!!

http://kmbro.blogspot.com
-Kristin

Amy said...

You look fabulous! Awesome tips. What job did you land? Can you give us specifics (I don't mean name or location of company haha)?

amy day to day

J.Ryan said...

I love this outfit! I love how it is very professional but your bag adds that pop of color! :)

liveworkstyle said...

Congrats on the new job! Love everything about your tips, but as a hiring manager, I just have to say to your followers that when it comes to selecting an up-do for an interview, you can never go wrong with a french twist or chignon. A pony tail may appear too youthful, depending on the position and industry. In other words, make sure you do your homework on the company's culture - first impressions are everything!

Michelle

Stephanie and Such said...

CONGRATS!!!
Love that bag!

Stephanie&Such

Nav said...

Love the post Linley! Great tips..I myself being a recruiter have hired a ton of people (ok not actually a ton) but ppl who make a clean presentation are much mroe prferable than the ones who do too much.

Congrats on the job!

Check out my latest corporate interview outfit: http://navlandstyle.blogspot.com/

Angeline said...

AHH congrats on the job! I think this interview look is great! And great tips. :)

aaez said...

wowza, congrats girl!!!

Miss Em said...

Congratulations!

Grace said...

love the LC blazer and Dooney bag :)

I love your blog and to show my love I would like to award you with the One Lovely Blog Award! You can check it out here!

http://hautecouture3.blogspot.com/2011/04/blog-award.html

xx Grace

BryanaEllen said...

Congrats on the job!

And thanks for all the tips, I have an interview this Friday and some of these will be helpful.

kimmie said...

Congrats on the new job!! :) So exciting!

And great interview tips. The perfume tip should be applied to EVERYONE. I always gag on the elevator when I step in after some lady with way too much on.

Alison said...

These are all great tips, and your outfit was PERFECT for an interview! I love how you kept it simple and classic, but avoided the stuffiness of a suit.
Congrats on getting the job!

Latoya said...

Congratulations on your new job! Great job interview styling tips, btw!h

Kim Barrett said...

Great look ! Congrats on the job !!!

Elle Enchanted said...

Thank you for this. I'm going into a healthcare related field too, and as I start looking for internships this summer this is just perfect!

Jessica said...

Of course you got the job in an outfit like that! It's perfect for an interview. Love this post! I just sent it to my sister who has an interview this afternoon.

Melanie said...

Congrats on snagging the job! You look lovely :)

Melanie@Unravelled Threads
Follow @UnraveldThreads on twitter!

DeSignJunKie said...

Congrats!!! I wore something similar about 6 years ago for my interview (for current position) I was a wee 19 when I went in and the look helped me land the job and transfer assistance. Thanks for the refresher because this still helps for meetings with higher ups that you always wish to look your best in front of..
P.S. Super jealous of how cooperative you hair always is.

twenty-something-year-old future RN. said...

Congrats on getting the job! :-)

JB said...

Congrats! This outfit is perfect for an interview!

ashley said...

Congratulations!!! :) New jobs are so exciting!

Kara said...

Oh, congrats! By these pics, I would have hired you as well :) This is a very nice outfit, I'd have more freedom in the art field, but one thing that really pops out to me (besides that amazing LC blazer) is your ponytail. It's professional without being too severe, very warm and inviting. Thanks for this post, it came at a perfect time!

xx Kara
Sprinkles in Springs

Fierce Fabulous Fit said...

Congrats, Linley!! that's great! And I think you tweeted that you're an SLP? That's so cool! I've been thinking about going to grad school to study SLP!

Great guidelines!! This is a fantastic post!

Krys
Fierce|Fabulous|Fit
@FierceFabFit

Rebecca at Cotton+Wood said...

Congrats on the new job!

nofindersfee said...

Congrats!!

Caro
http://nofindersfee.wordpress.com

Fashionably Learning To Be said...

Congrats on the new job! What kind of job is it?