Interview fashion blunders
When setting out for a job interview the last thing you want to concern yourself with is how your outfit is going to hold up during the interview.
There are distinctive differences between male and female faux pas’s but also some generalities. Often the mirrors in public washrooms aren’t long enough to show you from the waist down. When you are checking yourself out before you go into the interview, remember to check your fly, both genders please.
Interviewers start at your shoes. They size you up starting at your feet when they greet you in the reception area. Ensure your shoes are polished, clean and that the heels are not worn down. Ladies, leave your 5, 4 and 3 inch heels in your closet. Men try to match your shoe color to the color of your belt.
Many offices are now scent free environments so no cologne or after shave. I’ve heard of candidates who wore the scent of the interviewer’s ex spouse, and the bad memories the cologne evoked lost them the job.
Seasonal ties and clangy jewellery aren’t worn to an interview. Cutesy and noisy do not make a positive impression! You don’t want to bring attention to any one item that will distract the interviewer from what you are saying. An interviewee told me that at the end of her interview the hiring manager commented on how amazingly her earrings matched the pattern of her outfit and how she just couldn’t take her eyes off them, so much for that interview.
Worn collars or cuffs scream disrepair.
Ensure your clothing is up to date. Interview clothing doesn’t have to be expensive but it must look fashionable, clean and fit properly. Stay away from linen suits; you don’t want to look like a rumple bunny. Shoulder pads, tie width and lapels date your look; take notice of what’s in and what’s not.
Fellas, wear knee high socks. Believe it or not, it is embarrassing to see a man’s hairy leg sticking out. And tie your tie so the pointed end is hitting the top to middle of your belt, short ties are hilarious.
Ladies, stick on finger nails are a definite no – no. S.G. wore stick on nails to an interview and they proceeded to drop off one at a time throughout the hour. She had her hands folded on the table in front of her and the baby fingernail just dropped off right beside her finger. S.G. deftly moved her hand to cover the nail then slide her hand toward her lap and dropped the nail into it. S.G. spent the rest of the interview focused on hiding her bare fingers and wondering when the next one would fall off.
Tight and short skirts can reveal a little too much leg than is respectable, especially if you can’t hide your legs under a table. Make sure your clothes fit. When B.J. bent down to take off his boots, the back seam split from waistband to crotch.
Tearing a huge hole in your pantyhose is embarrassing and unsightly. Always bring an extra pair of stockings with you ladies, and a bottle of clear nail polish to stop any unexpected runs.
Spray breath freshener in your mouth just before you arrive for your interview. Bring tissues, sneezing into your sleeve in an interview could prove disastrous!
Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer
Author of Networking How to Build Relationships That Count,
How to Get a Job and Keep It and
The Power of Mentorship: Visibility Networking
Category: Job interviews