Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Preview: What to Wear [and Bring] to a Job Interview

Hello Readers!

As many of you know, I am back on the job market! So far, this journey of applying for jobs has been a journey of self discovery. Filling out applications, writing essays, completing aptitude tests, and spending a lot of time on LinkedIn. In many ways, searching for a job is a lot like online dating- creating a profile, answering and asking questions, and looking for the right match for your passions, interests, personality, etc., etc.

Last week, something exciting happened to me. On Thursday, I had an interview! I was so excited- so excited that I almost didn't know what to do with myself. I read and re-read the job description (I even wrote it out by hand to commit it to memory), highlighted the skills I possessed that the job seemed to demand, imagined answers to questions the interviewer might ask me, researched the organization, and even came up with a few questions of my own. I was almost ready. Almost.

What I couldn't seem to prepare was my interview outfit. As I stood in front of my wardrobe, a sea of advice filled my head :

-"don't wear anything too quirky"
-"wear something professional, but not boring"
-"don't wear any colors that will wash out your complexion"
-"don't wear anything too tight"
-"don't forget to wear hose with a skirt!"

As well as a few questions:

-"am I a winter or a spring?"
-"if I wear pink will I seem to girly?"
-"which necklace will make me look creative, hard-working, and smart?"

Selecting items of clothing for an outfit may seem like an insignificant task to complete before an interview- but it really is an important part of the preparation process. What you wear to an interview communicates a lot about who you are, or at least the self you choose to present.

First impressions matter, especially in an interview situation. A lot is on the line, for you as well as the organization interviewing you. The interview is their time to decide whether or not you- as a whole package of personality and skill- are the right fit for the job and for that particular workplace culture.

In the next few blog posts, I am going to share important information about what to wear, and even what to bring, to a job interview. The tools you need to narrate your story as a capable and confident job candidate.

Join me on this journey!

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