Saturday, August 4, 2012
Dressing for an Interview on a Hot Summer Day
Summertime…ahhh! It’s hot, sticky, and humid. You’ve got an interview, and you’re expected to be on your absolute A-game, looking polished and professional. How then, do you avoid looking as though you just came through a car wash with the windows rolled down?
Here are some tips to try to help you look as fresh as a daisy for that all important interview!
Wear cotton blend fabrics if at all possible. I know…a suit is the best possible choice for an interview, and most suits are made of wool, polyester, or a blend that usually doesn’t offer superb breathability. Opt for a sleeveless blouse to wear under a blazer so that you can be sleeveless up until the time you enter the building. Carry your blazer, and slip it on prior to entering the building. A cotton blend sleeveless button down blouse would work nicely, just as a sleeveless dress by itself is acceptable, provided it is professional, and preferably a solid darker color. According to www.theladders.com “Moisture and heat are the perfect storm for fabrics like cotton, linen and silk. Look for separates with a touch of Lycra. Even if it's only 3 percent Lycra, it should keep the wrinkles at bay.” If you choose to wear a dress or skirt, hosiery is still a must (yes, even in the extreme heat!); stick to a neutral or ‘nude’ color that complements your own skin tone. You’re most likely going from an air-conditioned car or bus to an air-conditioned office, so the few moments you’ll be enduring hosiery shouldn’t be unbearable. It’s tempting to slip on those strappy sandals since summertime is upon us, but a professional look calls for pumps or a sling back pump. In my book, that’s as strappy as it gets! If you should find yourself interviewing for, say, a construction position, and the foreman asks that you dress a certain way for safety measures, by all means, abide by those instructions. You can still dress professionally, and yet project a polished image.
Keep make-up and colognes to a minimum. Try using a powder over your foundation (if you normally wear it); it will keep you looking fresh longer than a liquid by itself. A powder eye shadow and blush (use a lighter than normal touch) will work better in hot and humid climates; creams have a tendency to crease and don’t usually last as long. And, using a (neutral) lip liner with your lipstick or gloss helps to prevent lipstick from bleeding. You can even apply a bit of your foundation or concealer to your lips before applying lipstick to help keep lipstick and gloss on your lips. It really does help, but be sure to blend! Easy does it on colognes and fragrances; they can be an irritant to those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
Hair should be off your face. Long hair should be pulled back in a low ponytail or a neat bun, not only for a professional look, but also to avoid that ‘stringy’ look. A little hairspray helps to hold stray hairs in place during humid weather.
Leave your designer ‘It’ bag at home. Instead, carry a small solid colored (preferably black or navy) purse and a briefcase. The bags with large logos, hardware, and bling are fun, but do not impart a professional look. Or, a good idea is to bring a portfolio with room for your keys, essential IDs, and of course, your resume. You may not need to bring a purse at all. You’ll want to avoid fumbling with multiple straps and bags while you’re shaking hands with your potential new employer!
Avoid rushing. If driving, allow plenty of time to park (ensure, too, that you have change for meters if necessary), ride the elevator, and find the building or suite number, especially if you’re not familiar with the surroundings. And, remember to arrive at least 10 minutes early so that you’re not running, causing your face to flush, and your make-up to run. Tuck several tissues in your bag or briefcase to blot any perspiration. Don’t forget to bring along an umbrella- you don’t want your professional look to get ‘rained out’!
So, no matter what the temperature, walk in boldly with confidence, looking fresh as a daisy!
About the Author:
Diane has been called fashionista from a young age, acquiring her love of fashion after enrolling in Sears Charm School as a young girl. After earning her degree in fashion merchandising & business she gained experience by appearing in movies, commercials and magazine layouts. She also worked as a flight attendant for 15 years and wrote for a well-known travel publication. Diane currently works with students to provide career advisement and loves to act as a personal shopper on the weekends for her friends and family.