So, we're thoroughly into January. Anyone else got the post Christmas blues?
We mustn't dwell though, this is the perfect time for a fresh start. I know many of you might be thinking about the next step in your career this time of year. For some of you, you may have even found the perfect job and been offered an interview. Go you!
Whilst you're getting yourself prepared to ace that interview, don't forget a key aspect. How you look. Regardless of the saying, people will judge a book by it's cover (I do regularly at my local library) and, sadly, you only get one shot to make a great first impression. Wearing a killer outfit and looking your best is going to play a huge part in securing that job you worked so hard for.
I hope it goes without saying that you need to show up looking professional. We probably all know it's not appropriate to attend an interview in scruffy jeans and a dirty top but what about the slight, finer details that will say so much about you?
Thinking about colour, try adding in some darker shades. A dark suit or dark bottoms will always look more professional and authoritarian than a completely light outfit.
Also, think carefully about the quality and fit of your clothes. No, we can't all afford to go out and buy a top designer outfit but perhaps this is the opportunity to spend a little more on clothes than your normally would. Find a good investment piece that will last. Either you can then wear this into the office looking chic and feeling fine, or if needs be it's always there for future interviews/ meetings. If you do choose a cheaper garment bear in mind that cheap fabrics will always look better in a darker colour.
The fit is also important, if that awesome blazer your wearing looks too baggy or just a tad too tight, this is going to ruin the whole illusion you've started to create.
It's about creating a consistent message overall, so think carefully. Also bear in mind things like your bag, shoes, etc. These will all go towards the overall look and impression.
Whilst you want to look your best, and part of that is wearing the right colours that will flatter you, you could try factoring in a little colour psychology. We can use colours as a slight persuasion tactic and provide a suggestion to the interviewer of who we are as a person. Here's a quick breakdown of how some colours could work for you and the impression they create in our subconscious minds:
Black - power and sophistication.
Grey - neutrality and balance.
White - innocence and goodness.
Brown - security and comfort.
Green - hardworking, reliable, and a leader.
Blue - honest, friendly, and trustworthy.
Orange - creativity, success, and enthusiasm.
So, depending on the position you're applying for and how you think that person should be, you could work this colour into your outfit. Just don't try to cram in all the colours. A good rule is to keep to a minimum of 2-3 colours in an outfit. It's also important to bear in mind that all colours can have some negative connotations so it might be best to include soft accents of colours, e.g an orange scarf or bracelet as opposed to a large block of colour.
Keep in mind the job you are applying for
Whilst you do always need to look professional, you want to show up to the interview looking like you would fit in. You might be the best for the job but if the interviewer doesn't think you would work well within the work space community, this could ruin the chance for you.
You want to match how you look to the work culture and environment. For example, showing up in your best three piece suit when all the interviewers are dressed casually is just going to make you stand out for, potentially, the wrong reasons. Trust me, this genuinely happened to me once and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. It was also incredibly infuriating knowing that how I would normally dress would have fitted in perfectly.
The best way to overcome this is by fully researching the company you will be working for. Not only will this give you further prep for the interview itself, but should help you understand what is expected of employees. It could also be worth checking out the Linkedin profile of the boss/manager or the person who will be interviewing you. Hopefully you can gauge from their profile and photo the sort of person working for that company.
I hope you go out there and ace that interview looking the best you ever did. Keep calm and stay confident, you got this.