Interview: What NOT to Wear for a Job Interviews
Today my office director came to me, and asked me if I could interview a bunch of candidates for a interpreter position in the company, to which I promptly said yes, in spite of hating to interview (I am very anti social for starters 😛 but I have to keep my job anyways 😀 )
I never had a formal training to be a recruiter and by profession the only knowledge that I am currently applying while doing it, is of being a multilingual speaker and the openings being for speakers of those languages.
But after a while you start to understand the so called ‘interview common sense ‘ and on my little experience on the field, the best advice I could ever give to anyone looking for a job is to know what not to wear on your job interview.
Nowadays the telephonic interviews are the first step for getting you through into negotiation; but it’s still the good old in-person interview that will allow you to land an offer.
So why do companies conduct phone interviews? Phone interviews give the company a chance to get a feel for your skill-set, interests, desired compensation etc., and see if there is a match between their needs and your strengths. If there is enough common ground, then the phone interviews are almost always followed-up by an in-person interview.
If you survived the initial phone interview, the next step is probably an in-person interview. Every company has their own way of conducting these interviews. Some prefer to have “panel-like” interviews, while others prefer one-to-one interviews.
So if you are looking for a job, well then let’s get serious about it. People need to know you mean business.
When it comes to women, not only a good portfolio in hand or knowing the answers to the tough questions that count, because you will always be judged by you cover too.
Always remember the little poem:
Never too short, never too bright, never too low, never too tight.
Firstly don’t wear a salwaar-kameez or a sari for an interview if you are always wearing western attire and vice versa.
A good rule of thumb is not to wear anything that would be viewed as a distraction. Tight or form-fitting clothing, for example, is inappropriate. While these slim fits may be en vogue for both women AND men, they don’t belong in the office.
Pants Although pants may be appropriate for work at many companies, they can be perceived by interviewers in different ways as overly casual, sexy, masculine or even rebellious. In any case, they don’t reflect the image you want to present right away.
A cotton shirt The cotton shirt is now seen as something that only entry-level women, coached by college placement counselors, would think of wearing. Select shirts with silky cotton or a cotton-and-wool blend.
Short skirt Test your skirt sitting down as well as standing up. It’s unprofessional and inappropriate to sit with four inches of thigh showing; equally uncomfortable is tugging at your hem while trying to enumerate your qualifications.
Glitzy shoes The theory is that in an interview, you want the interviewer to focus on your head (brains – but go slow with head gears); patterned shoes draw attention to the opposite end of your body. This is not to say that you must only wear standard shoes to job interviews. Just be sure that your legs and feet are not distracting.
Anything brand-new Brand-new means something you are wearing for the first time in the morning of your interview. Interviews sometimes demand new clothes, but if you have bought something new, try to wear it for at least an hour even around the house before the big day.
Why, you must ask, it’s because in an interview you don’t want to be conscious of your clothes. And you certainly do not want to find out too late that the buttons tend to pop, that the skirt waistband can be itchy, or that the back of the skirt has a tendency to slip around to the front. The best interviews clothes are those you have worn before, things that make you feel terrific.
Anything sloppy No woman would show up for a job interview with shoes that are scuffed, a shirt with bottoms missing or a stained shawl.
Anything sexy Now you might roll your eyes on what some interviewers would label as sexy (sheer blouse over a tank, sleeveless tops or dresses etc..) but as what is sexy is of course, subjective it’s better to play safe on the most conservative opinion. So choose a neutral color than, say red, long sleeves are better than short; a skirt with no slit is better than one with it.
Lastly, the best advice is to wear what suits your style and makes you feel confident.
Some more tips for your interview:
Do not arrive late: Coming late to the interview almost always turns the interviewer off. If you are unavoidably delayed, phone the interviewer and let him or her know you will be late, or better still, ask for another appointment.
Stop jabbering: Once you have made your point wait for the response. Too many people talk so much that they lose the attention of the listener. If your new job depends upon your ability to listen, you had better train yourself to listen and not talk.
Overdone charm: Some people get by on charm, but if overdone, it makes you look superficial. Tasteless humor, ‘clever’ remarks, coyness, or coquettish behavior will tend to have a negative impression rather than a positive one.
Do not over- extend your interview: Take the cue from your interviewer and leave when the interview appears to be over. Don’t try and give that extra bit of information.