Sure. It’s a given that you need to dress nicely for that interview or promotion.
BUT… what about the smaller, more nuanced messages your “nice outfit” is SCREAMING?
Is your go-to interview outfit working for you or against you?
I reached out to my dear friend and well-known HR Consultant, Kristen J. Bates, about how style impacts your chances in an interview…of any kind. She made such good points, I wanted to make sure you got your hands on them.
Ready for her words of wisdom?
Read on to learn… why how you look is about more than what you wear!
Q: Why does having your own style make a difference in an interview or networking situation?
A: It helps you stand out, yet is shows that you respect the societal or cultural norms of a company or industry. When someone is comfortable and embodied in their style, they often exude confidence.
Q: What are the top 3 things executives / managers notice about a person’s appearance?
A: They notice:
1. How confident you appear. This is usually reflected in your body language, which is often influenced by how you feel in your cloths. Likewise, what you wear, is usually an indication of how much pride you have in yourself and this too speaks to confidence.
2. How well your style (or lack there of) will fit into the framework of the organization
3. How much effort you took with your appearance. This signals a level of respect and personal organization that hiring managers consider indicative of how motivated you will be.
Q: What is your #1 tip for up-ing your style for a networking event or interview?
A: Be comfortable! When people are uncomfortable in their outfits it shows. Even if you are wearing something new, I recommend taking it for a test run and notice if it makes you feel uncomfortable in anyway.
Practice walking in it, sitting down, and pick a great accessory that isn’t cumbersome (like a perfect briefcase etc.) Then, rock it. Show your excitement at wearing something new that you feel great in.
Q: Why would it be helpful in a networking or interview setting to have consulted a stylist about your wardrobe?
A: I always suggest consulting with an expert for something you don’t know a lot about because it leverages value to your personal brand.
When you outsource or consult with someone on your personal style, it leaves a lot of your mental real estate for more important things like killing your interview, or landing a new client, or garnering the attention you deserve at a networking event.