Land That Job! Interview Tips and Style

In my job, I conduct a lot of job interviews.  I see a many great interviews and, some not-so-great.  

Keep in mind, when you’re going for an interview, you can’t control everything.   You can’t change (or lie) about things like your past experience.  You can’t control your competition and how you stack up to the other candidates that are going out for the same job.  But, you can control some simple aesthetic things about yourself that can only help the presentation of yourself. 

Here are some quick and easy tips to mind:

Make sure what you are wearing is clean and neat

You can be stylish but even if you are a bold bladed fashionista outside of the office, when you are interviewing for a position, unless it is typical of the industry to be very bold with your accessories and colours, erring on the side of stylish yet conservative, is never a bad idea.  For the ladies, stick to skirts or slacks, a blouse and blazer or nice cardigan.  For the gents, slacks with collared shirt, and blazer.  I highly recommend wearing some kind of pressed undershirt (it just looks neater) but if the shirt is darker, you can probably pull off not wearing one.  Of course, wear a tie if you can but if you can’t, be sure your shirt fits properly is buttoned at least to the second
button from the top and is nicely pressed.

Interview Outfit; Work Wear

Interview Outfit; Work Wear by simplecareerlif featuring a merino wool jacket

Hem lines

No higher than just above the knee.  And, I don’t care if you are applying for camp counsellor - absolutely no shorts! 


Keep it on the simpler side.  Pearls or studs for earrings; A pearl necklace or pendant necklace. Massive disco-esque earrings or any other flashy, glittery, super colourful chunky jewelry can be distracting for the interviewers.  Also, I advise, even if you can afford it, it is probably a good idea to leave the super expensive jewelry and handbags at home.  You don’t want to appear like you are showing off.  Have them focus on what you’re saying not your bling.


Necklaces by simplecareerlif featuring longs jewelry


I recommend not wearing any scents in interviews.  Often it is just you and the interviewer or a panel in close proximity.  A lot of people these days are scent sensitive.  You don’t want to set off someone’s migraine with your perfume. 

You may be saying some amazing things in that interview but when someone is scent-sensitive, and you are giving off a strong scent, they are probably only giving you about 60% of their attention.  On the other side of that…(this is kind of touchy) try not to have bad body odour.  

If you worked out that morning - shower!  If you didn’t work out that morning - still shower!  Instead of wearing perfume, just try to smell clean or at least try not to give off any odour whether it be perfume, bad body odour, smoke or the scent of whatever was cooking at your house before you left.

Control Your Hair

It seems almost silly to point out but one time I interviewed a very professional looking lady that gave off no strange odours, in fact she smelled quite pleasant, like soap.  She wore a dress with a blazer and simple but flattering jewelry. 

The reason I remember her is because she had lovely long thick curly hair that went to about the middle of her back which she wore down for the interview…And for the entire interview, she kept fixing her damn hair!  Running her hands through the top, flipping it all left, flipping it all right, twisting it around, running her hands through the front again then in between styles she would let it hang in her face…so in between her incessant hair flipping I could hardly see her face.  

It was annoying and distracting.  Sadly, that was the only impression I remember her making on me.  After the interview, she asked for feedback and I told her nicely that she should consider tying or securing her hair away from her face so she doesn’t get distracted by trying to re-arrange it right in the interview (over and over and over again)!

Hair Care

Hair Care by simplecareerlif featuring blow beauty products

Mind How Much Cleavage You Are Showing

Once again, unless it is part of the organizational culture to sport your double D’s.  Keep your breasts under wraps.  These too can be a little distracting for interviewers.  I am straight female with a husband and kids and - I don’t care what you say - cleavage is hard to ignore.  You don’t want interviewers thoughts wandering away from what you are saying.  

As a rule of thumb, don’t wear anything low enough in the front that it shows the crease of your cleavage, that shows the beginning curve of either of your breasts or show side-boob peeking out near your armpit.  If you don’t have tops that cover you, wearing a camisol or tank top underneath is never a bad idea.

Control Your Hands

Much like the lady who was constantly fidgeting with her hair, any kind of fidgeting can be distracting to interviewers.  I interviewed a candidate who repeatedly tapped on the table with her pen.  If you tend to fidget when you are nervous, try folding your hand on your lap or on the table, or hold a pen but try not to do something that makes a sound like constant clicking of a pen retraction button or tapping on the table.

Most skilled interviewers can see past a lot of these little things but in case they can’t, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to hear what you have to say so they can get a good feeling or impression from you right from the get-go!  So go out and get-em!

Check back on this site for other great tips on career, interviews, style and leisure.

If you have any direct questions about interviews, please feel free to drop me a line.

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