Friday, January 25, 2013

Tips For Men On How To Dress For An Interview

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Who's the fairest?
Your mirror's secrets to an interview with a fairy tale ending.
The minute you walked in the joint, [BOOM BOOM],
I could see you were a man of dysfunction, a real big loser!
Not the look you were going for as you smiled at yourself in the bathroom mirror? What went wrong? How can you look so good on paper, yet never get a job offer? Why doesn't your mirror tell you what you hear loud and clear when you walk into an interview and make eye contact, only to notice a judgmental raised eyebrow or worse, a stifled giggle?

How long has it been since your last job interview? Did your Mom drive you? Did the job involve wearing a polyester uniform and asking, "Do you want fries with that?"

Last time you dressed to impress, you may have been wearing the standard post-grad blue blazer and rep tie. Your mirror told you something like, "You are SO rockin' that mullet!" It's time for your mirror to tell you the truth. It's time for your mirror to tell it like it is... like an interviewer would tell it.
Appearance is important. It's been said so many times that it is trite, but triteness often starts with truth. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The great resume and phone screening that got you in the door can all go out the window if you don't look put-together and confident when you shake hands with your interviewer.

Different jobs and workplaces have different requirements, but err on the side of overdressing. If possible, find out who is interviewing you. (Be sure that in doing so, you avoid any behavior that might be construed as stalking.) See what he/she wears to work and use that as a guide to appropriate interview attire. If he wears a jacket and tie, you do the same. If she wears short skirts and pantyhose... well, you wear a jacket and a tie.

Let's start with the basics. Clean and well-groomed forms a great foundation for a first impression. You could find yourself being interviewed by a woman who just adores the scent of Old Spice or feels all nostalgic when she gets a waft of Drakkar Noir. However, the problem with scents is that they can offend as many people as they impress. The best scent can't be bought at a department store from a gorgeous young clerk at the Calvin Klein counter. It's the sexy smell of soap after a recent shower.

The last time you interviewed, perhaps extraneous hair was not an issue. It's not a glamorous topic, but it simply must be discussed. As men get older, hair sprouts in places you never dreamed of. Specifically, the nose and the ears. And for some reason, it's not like the hair on your head where a haircut every 4-6 weeks keeps it in check. These hairs appear out of nowhere and grow to incredible lengths in hours. So add a few minutes of prep time devoted to identifying and trimming or removing these unsightly growths.

On the subject of hair, remember that you are not Hugh Jackman in Australia... or even Hugh Laurie in House. And you don't want to look like one of the St. Louis Cardinals during the World Series! Make sure your facial hair looks good on you and is neatly trimmed.

The job you are applying for may boast a casual business environment, but when you are looking to make a first impression, khakis and a golf shirt aren't going to cut it. There is a big difference between the pants you would wear to golf and the pants you wear to an interview. Wear pants that need to be dry cleaned... that's usually a good sign that they are the right choice.


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