I remember giving my first ever interview… this was way back in 2006; i had only cleared my 12th class, a common thing here where I live, one got to finish school and then maybe do an internship or gain some small experience. I had done literature as my major subject in high school… so I was pretty confident I would be perfect for a tutoring class who needed some freelance teaching help for literary studies. I reached the place on time and gave some awesome answers when asked about Chaucer to Shakespeare. Little did I know I had totally messed up by going there in a pair of blue jeans and white tee with sneakers and hair up in a bun. I have super frizzy curls, but never knew how to maintain the mane back in those days. I never got a call back from the tutoring class and I am glad I didn’t get that job. Few months later I was sitting in a vibrant LIVE studio and hosting my own show on radio. I had dressed similar for the radio interview and made it to the shortlisted ones with a team comprising of freshers and experienced people, with me being the youngest one ever- at 19 !
It was only later when I had some grooming classes that were a part of my mentoring did I realize I didn’t get the tutoring job because I was never dressed for the interview. It never crossed my mind that every job profile requires one to dress up for the occasion. Our corporate world revolves around much more than the degree certificates you carry in a file. With the new age methods of interview rounds, one is expected to be well dressed every single minute. You never know when you receive a telephone call saying they are video calling you in the next 5 minutes for your dream job profile and the 5mins are also allotted so you can find a disturbance-free zone with good internet connectivity. So what exactly do I mean with being interview-ready all the time??
Let’s decode what comes under formals and casual dressing that can be part of your wardrobe staple
– suits : if you are appearing for a senior profile job in an official environment like an office or any company premises
– blazers : if you are appearing for a senior profile job but meeting your interviewer in a cafe or over coffee at a club
– formal trousers and shirt : for all job profiles; suitable for all premises. infact, a well ironed pair of pants and full sleeved shirt ( preferably plain) makes a good impact
– Kurta and straight pants : for women who are not very comfortable wearing pants & shirt. Also, if you are appearing for a teaching job or a nursing assistant
– Dark colored Straight Simple Denims and Plain Block-colored Collared tee when meeting the interviewer very informally at their residence, for a media house as a freelance, a writer with the publisher at a cafe or any informal situation.
What needs to be strictly avoided
– ragged or narrow jeans and round neck/v-neck tees : definitely a no-no. reserve those for your relaxed weekends and fun night outs with friends unless you want a job for a disc jockey or a drug dealer
– simple anarkali and heavy duppata dresses : simple dresses would still be ok for a banking job or as a sales staff; the heavy dresses and flowy anarkalis shall have to wait for personal occasions and not the workplace… the interviewer is looking for an employee and not a light bulb who can light the entire office
– bright prints and colors : these aren’t your fancy thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, an interviewer needs to listen to your answers and not count the number or colors and prints on your clothes
– golds and silvers : well, include bronze as well… no medal shiny metal colors in clothes please! keep your Diwali clothes at far distance
Accessorize it well
– metal watches/straps : its fantastic to have a luxurious life but certainly no right to go bling and cling with metals on your wrist
– too many ring-a-ding : one finger ring is just perfect, do not stack them all in each finger; no-rings at all is also cool- just don’t go wearing a fake one! more importantly , no one would be interested in seeing anything chunky
– formal footwear : proper formal shoes if wearing trousers-shirt and plain block colored bellies for women wearing Indian outfit
– hair accessories : just enough to look tidy, a neat haircut and a cleansing wash before the main day is advisable
– socks : if you are wearing formal shoes, a pair of fresh socks is mandatory. If you are wearing bellies or front closed flats I suggest wear socks that do not show. Trust me, stripes and polka dots peeping out from strappy sandals pisses off the interviewer
– handkerchief : carry a clean one and use it wisely
– files and folders : all your important papers and certificates need to be carried in a neat folder, preferably one that looks executive and best if it has a leather finish
– ties : wear a tie that matches your shirt, stripes and plain are always a safe zone. However, a fancy print with a beer mug or a simpson would be great too if you are going to be interviewed as a music show host or rap artist
– spectacles : a simple sturdy frame with clean glasses is expected
– jewelry : minimum of jewelry and maximum of confidence is a #winwin in any situation. Simple studs or a thin gold bracelet, a leather strap watch and maybe if you are wearing something for a religious purpose you would be just finely impressive
Remember, it takes only 30 secs to scan a candidate and 31st second to reject the person only from the appearance.
Following all these tips is going to help you, but certainly not going to fetch you the job for which you shall be need to answer questions with confidence and trust your knowledge and degrees. It’s like a great commercial movie… the script as well as the production and packaging has to be great to make it reach the 100cr club.
Color Scheme :
oranges, neons and bright shades should strictly be avoided unless going for staff picnics and after dinner parties
Its’s best to stick to safer colors like shades of blue, white and black, gray to charcoal paired with maroon or purple or a pastel pink… a pastel green with a creamish white would look classy as well… a hint of yellow would add a pretty sunshine and make you look vibrant and confident but promise me you won’t tag in to some office wearing yellow pants! oh pretty please; even the thought is funny.
While at my previous workplaces, I have had a chance to interview many young enthusiasts during their RJ walk-in auditions and even groomed more than 500 students for interviews, it isn’t a difficult task to find the right pair to impress your interviewer.
Here are a few tips to polish the right look:
– wear a light scent
– pick a darker shade of shirt if you are going to sweat on your way to the place of interview
– get rid of your facial hair or keep it to bare minimum for men, trimmed to shape for women and completely smooth waxed limbs would look perfect
– add a dash of red if your outfit is of lighter shade
– do not offer to pay if you are meeting at a cafe or over meals
– chapped lips are not acceptable at all
– do not be brand conscious but make sure the fabrics are breathable, no sheer fabrics and no collarless shirts
– you do not need big logos screaming from your outfit
– a stubble is good but trim it well
– keep a pair or two of well ironed outfits separate for an interview that can be scheduled anytime
– if you aren’t well acquainted with what colors to match… simply go to any store and ask the trained sales staff to help you match. they have been trained to give the best opinion
– some brands i personally like are Louis Philippe , allen solly , W for woman , Aks by Nidhi , Arrow , fable street , some really nice make up by nykaa, iba halal and lakme 9 to 5 are available on nykaa website and app
Hope this pretty longish post helps you, do comment and leave any queries you have or wish to share an experience of yours for others who stop by,
Love n Happiness