by Jennifer Glose, Business Manager
You have sweaty palms, shaky hands, and a racing heart: this is your one chance to make a great first impression! The interview you have been waiting for is minutes away, and you have no idea what to wear.
Getting your resume in perfect order and gathering all of the ingredients for a powerful portfolio make for a stressful experience. However, following some simple fashion etiquette can help you feel just as prepared as your papers on the day of your interview.
Here are some business fashion tips from the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Career Expo (LVCCE) website:
The appropriate color business suit to wear in an interview is black, dark grey, or navy, with a light colored shirt.
When wearing a skirt, it should be below the knee in length.
Pantyhose should match or be lighter in color than the suit.
Precious Yamaguchi, an associate professor of communication at Cedar Crest, feels that the color, style, and patterns of your clothing can depend on what type of business to which you are applying.
“If you are going to an interview at a fashion magazine in New York City that identifies itself as ‘modern,’ ‘edgy,’ or ‘avant-garde,’ you may want to dress professionally but also show you are fashion-forward,” Yamaguchi said.
As LVCCE reiterates, you should remember that your accessories, makeup, and hairstyles should not create a distraction. You want the interviewer’s attention to be on you and what you are saying.
Yamaguchi agrees, “Making thoughtful decisions about your makeup is just as important as your attire. Professional makeup artist and founder of her own makeup line, Bobbi Brown is an expert at advising about makeup for job interviews. When going for a job interview, I really try to follow her guidelines.”
Bobbi Brown offers four important tips:
1. Face Base: Keep your skin natural-looking, don’t apply too much foundation.
2. Eyes: Soft, muted colors are best.
3. Blush: Opt for a soft rose pink blush which gives a fresh healthy glow, instead of a made-up look
4. Lips: Your choice of lip color should be in a neutral shade (in the same tone or slightly darker than your natural lip color) and matte, not gloss.
Jenelle Henry, the director of Career Planning at Cedar Crest, helps students to get ready for the work world by offering resume editing, mock interviews, and internship placement. She knows first-hand what it takes to have a successful interview.
“First impressions count during an interview. An employer’s impression of you is made during the first 15 seconds of an interview, so don’t miss out by being under-dressed. Being appropriately dressed allows you to feel more confident of yourself during an interview. Always be the best dressed person in the room,” Henry said.
Stores like Kohl’s offer nice and affordable business suits, ranging from $28-$40 per jacket, skirt, or pants. They come in a variety of colors, styles, and patterns.
JC Penney also offers great name-brand business pants or pencil skirts for only $30 with a nice variety of beautiful blouses for $20 and jackets for $40.
So, next time you get the interview jitters, do some research on the company that you are applying for, to help you get a feel of their style. Review some of the business fashion etiquette tips and then head on over to your favorite shopping spot and dress to impress! Good luck!