Dress for Success Interviewing Tips for Women

Interviewing Tips for Women

Interviewing Tips for Women

When you walk into an interview, the hiring manager will begin making an opinion about you before you utter a single word. Your outfit will play a significant role in that opinion, and one way to ensure that your interview goes as well as possible is to don the right apparel.

The business suit is the go-to outfit for women who are headed to an interview. Choose a skirt suit because it is considered more formal, even if you will likely wear pantsuits if you land the position. Dark gray, black, or navy blue is the appropriate color. Avoid patterns, as these are considered too flashy and draw the wrong kind of attention. Have the suit tailored so it fits well. Your jacket should be easily buttoned without pulling, and your skirt should reach your knees when you sit, which you will likely do during your interview.

Choose a blouse out of a natural fabric in white or a light tone. You can add color by accessorizing with modest jewelry or a lapel pin. Your shoes should be the same color as your suit or one shade darker. The heel should be no more than two inches high, and shorter if you are already a tall woman. Wear neutral colored stockings or hose that match your skin tone and consider packing a spare pair in your purse in case you have a run before your interview. Belts should be leather style and have a simple buckle. The color should be the same as your shoes.

It is acceptable and probably expected, for you to carry a purse. However, do not invest in a large bag like those you might take shopping. Instead, purchase a small, plain purse that matches your shoes and belt.

Style your hair so it is out of the way and not distracting. It should look neat and tidy, but if you have very long hair, consider pulling it back. Apply light, natural looking makeup and choose a light or clear nail color. Have your nails clean and manicured before your interview so they do not stand out. Finally, avoid donning too much perfume. What smells good to you may not smell good to your interviewer, and the room where you will have your interview is likely small and confined.

Dressing well for an interview does not have to be difficult if you know what to do. By keeping these tips in mind, you can put yourself in the best position to land that next new position.

Please share your  interviewing tips for women in our comments section.

Body language in an interview – What Does it Say?

Landing a job interview requires a strong resume and cover letter combined with stellar  references and credentials. But in the first three to seven seconds of that job interview, you may lose your chances of being offered the position. That is all of the time it takes to make a first impression, and over half of what will be evaluated in that first impression is your body language.

Body language in an interview may seem like a small factor, especially when you know you have the skills and credentials to fill a position well, but to the interviewer, it may be one of the most important.

So what is your body language saying about you? Here are some basic movements you may be making, and the negative impressions they create:

  • Arms folded across the chest –a defensive gesture
  • Hands in pockets – discomfort or unease
  • Shaking or wiggling one leg or foot – nervousness or discomfort
  • Rubbing your nose – dishonesty
  • Rubbing your neck – boredom
  • Staring at the floor – lack of interest in the conversation
  • Slouching – a feeling that you are not prepared for the interview or the job

Some of these movements are involuntary, and you may not mean what the interviewer thinks, but that impression is going to last. Instead, consider these positive thoughts that you can bring to the surface with your body language.

  • Direct eye contact – confidence and interest
  • Leaning forward slightly – excitement and interest in the conversation
  • Sitting up – alertness and energy
  • Firm handshake – confidence and strength
  • Tilting head slightly – interest in what is being said

One problem you may face in an interview is deciding what to do with your hands. If you ignore them, you will likely fidget. Instead, use them for emphasis in what you are saying, and rest them quietly in your lap when you are not speaking.

Above all, smile. This shows that you are confident in your abilities, have an interest in the position, and are going to be a “people person,” a skill that is valuable in just about any position.

Remember, body language says a lot about you as a candidate for a job, and it is the primary focus of any first impression. You are going to be nervous, so take the time to practice, preferably in front of a mirror. Too much is at stake to go into an interview without giving thought to your body language.

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