The Interview Series - what to wear

Tricky. Tricky. Tricky.

I think most people struggle to put a decent outfit together on a daily basis let alone for something important as a job interview. I mean you just have to look at people on the streets of any major city at lunch time. Unkind but true. Have some pride people! There is no need for dressing shabbily even if you don't have a lot of money. In Australia Target and K-mart have great pieces for work as do many of the slightly more expensive chain stores. Rant over.

So, unless you are going for a very creative job I think it's best to err on the side of conservative. You want the interviews to be interested in you and what you are saying, not be distracted by what you are wearing. Though having said that I did go to my last job interview with pink hair....more on that later.

The most conservative and dressy type companies include finance and banking, accounting firms and consultancies and some technology companies. Wear a suit in a dark colour and a nicely pressed shirt or women could also wear a business type dress like this:

Actually this kind of outfit would suit pretty much all interviews and companies unless you are going to a job at a funky creative cutting edge company.

But you don't always have to wear a suit. It's just an easy option. Other options include:

For men: dress pants or suit pants and a long sleeve business shirt. For a more casual company you could possibly do a short sleeve shirt but I can't say I like them. Lace up brogues or slip on more business type shoes. No sneakers. No thongs

For women: Tailored skirts or pants and a blouse or top, no t-shirts. Closed in court shoes. No sneakers and no thongs.

The last interview I went to I didn't have anything that resembled a suit in my wardrobe. I had been working in an industrial part of Sydney for an industrial distributor and suits weren't really the expectation. Plus I'm not really that fussed about suits (even though I am recommending them here). I also had pink hair. My sister was horrified! "what are you going to wear?"

I think I wore a red jacket and black pants to that interview, with the pink hair. You see I figured that this was me. I had really good experience for the job and figured that if they had an issue with my hair, well then maybe that company wasn't for me. You can only be this bold if you are confident in your abilities and yourself generally. I got that job but don't recommend you turn up with coloured hair or lots of facial piercings and visible tattoos. Most interviewers are still very conservative and even though these things don't affect your ability to do the job in most cases you won't get the job. Some exclusions are funky cool hairdressers, where coloured hair, tats and piercing are expected. As well as sneakers or thongs.

If you need some inspiration head over to Pinterest and do a search on work wear or work fashion.

Lisa x

Returning to work after a holiday....

Tugan Beach, Boxing Day 2012
It's so weird but as the holiday day's count down and my thoughts start to return to work and what needs to be achieved, I feel a little like going back to school! I'm getting all prepared. 

When going back to school I can remember getting a new uniform, new pencils and pens and a new pencil case. New books were covered and sometimes I got a new school bag. Going back to work after the Christmas/New Year holidays feels a little like that. I don't have any new pens and pencils but I have been getting ready:

  • Had my lovely work clothes dry cleaned, and repaired where needed. They are hanging in my cupboard ready to go. I got some new clothes for my new job last year. I hired a stylist for the first time. A good career move. You can read about the process here and here 
  • Had a manicure and pedicure yesterday, as well as an eyebrow wax. It's nice to be a little polished for work, don't you think?
  • Got some new underwear for the New Year!
  • Had the small boy's hair cut (my son's Aiden and Charlie) so they look good when they return to Childcare (and because it's hard to get their haircut at a discount rate on the weekends!)
  • Been working like a mad woman to try and get the house in order for the new year. Beds have been put back in the rooms they normally live in, after the craziness of the end of 2012 and a mass of people coming to stay.
  •  Clothes and toys have been sorted through and either kept, chucked out or given to Vinnies.
  •  We put lot's of rubbish out for council clean up! 
  • Christmas gifts have been put away
  •  All the washing has been done, and will be put away, any moment now! 
  • The grass has been mowed (all 5 square metres) and the weeds have been pulled
Next I need to get out my work laptop and catch up on my email!

Inspire me

I think clothes are pretty important. If you look good in the workplace you will feel confident too. One of my favourite bloggers Nikki Parkinson of "Styling You" is currently doing a great feature called "Unlock your style in 14 days". It's a wardrobe makeover! It started on January 1, so there is lots already to catch up on. I am finding it a great help! She also has this great manifesto: 

 Develop me 

 Great little article about a guy who did a different job a week for for 52 weeks last year. Pretty cool. Helped him give direction to what he wanted to do in life

Just for me

What have you done that's creative or cool, or interesting during the holidays? I would love to hear about it! I have just started The 7 Vignettes in 7 days Challenge.