I'm always looking for new challenges, so when I spotted a job opportunity online last week I decided to go for it! I haven't been to an interview in two and a half years (despite coaching others on how to get their place in the hot seat) so I was delighted to hear that my application had been selected from over fifty other applicants.
Making an impression is key to positive results- whether you get the job or not. I once attended an interview where I completely fluffed up all my answers, but my rapport and overall impression resulted in the interviewer calling me back to express that he would like me to apply for the company again when they re-advertise later in the year.
Based on my experiences and those of others, I know how important it is to prepare, prepare and prepare some more before hand, but how can you control your first impression?
In work I tend to dress down (trousers, Breton tops and flats), but dressing for an interview is different and can often make interviewees feel out of their comfort zone and add to the stress of the day. It can be hard to fake feeling at ease, so don't fake it! Don't wear the awkward suit or the sky high power heels if it compromises your confidence, just wear the smart version of your everyday self.
So here is my head-to-toe outfit battle plan for next week...
I've opted to wear a loose silk shirt that doesn't cling or show sweat patches (we all get them!). I have a few fantastic Zara shirts and usually wear them with skinny jeans and sunglasses, but this navy collar-tipped shirt is perfect for looking smart too. It looks expensive, even though I only paid £39, and wearing it makes me feel 'grown up'- you know, those clothes that make you stand straight and feel alert.
Deciding between trousers or skirts for interviews can be tricky. I usually feel more comfortable in trousers, but wearing a well fitted skirt (with bottom-hugging M&S tights) will never fail to make me feel more confident. Most of my skirts are either leather or short, but a quick spend of £30 at Topshop sorted this out. I chose this knee-length black skirt with fake-croc belt and slit at the back for avoiding that pencil skirt penguin walk. The last thing I want to do is make an unwanted memorable impression by waddling into the interview room!
I went for simple.black.heels. I wear flats everyday, so wearing the below Dorothy Perkins heels will make me feel a little more put-together and will help me to get my 'interview head' on. It has also been super sunny this week, so I'll make sure to take some sunnies with me so I don't look all squinty by the time I've driven to my interview. The ones below are by Whistles.
My plan is to keep on smiling! I want the interview panel to like me, so no matter what happens on the day, at least I'll feel great! I'm sure that way, way back in time my psychology tutor told me that smiling releases endorphins and that the receiver usually reciprocates, so I'll give it a go :)