Dress for Success

by Jessica Steinmann

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, the Women’s Center brought Lisa Maile, a professional speaker and image consultant from Orlando, Florida, to host “Dress for Success.” This event informed female students on how to look their best so that they could feel confident while attending a job interview, conference, career fair and/or even everyday work in their respective fields. The feedback was very positive for those who attended. Ms. Maile was insightful and very meticulous. She points out every little detail that you probably would not have thought about while getting ready for an interview. She discussed everything from clothing, make up, hair, nails, and jewelry, to posture and interviewing etiquette.

Here are just the quick key features of the presentation on how to get the power look.

Selecting a Suit

Lisa’s four key factors to keep in mind when picking out a suit for a job interview are color, pattern, texture, and shape.  A wardrobe for an interview or work does not have to be expensive to fit these four factors, but if it does fit these four factors, then it will look expensive. It is very possible to find a suit for $69.99 that will fit these four factors. It is not necessary to go out and buy a designer suit, because like Lisa blatantly stated, you will walk into your interview saying, ‘Hi, my name is ___________ and this suit is Armani.’

  • When picking out a suit, you want to stick to dark colors such as black, navy blue, or dark gray, and contrast it with a crisp white button up blouse underneath. Black is the most powerful suit color you could wear.
  • Conservative is always acceptable in the business world. For women, it is more effective to wear a skirt suit than a pant suit.
  • When considering pattern, pin stripe is the safest suit option, but you also want to consider the pattern of your blouse and the way your suit is cut.
  • Be sure that the blouse does not have a plunging neck line.
  • Always remember:  when picking out clothes for an interview, you want everything to accent your face; avoid blouses that draw the interviewer’s attention to your shirt.
  • The texture of your suit is very important because you do not want it to be flimsy. You want your suit to be able to hold its shape on a hanger and for it to appear as though it is standing “at attention” when you wear it.
  • Her last key factor for picking out the perfect outfit was shape. You want your suit to make you look tall and lean.
  • Avoid tight form fitting suits because they will have the opposite effect.  For example, tight form-fitting pants will draw attention to your hip area, which you do not want. You want the interviewer to always have their eyes on your face and nowhere else, because it lets you know that they respect you and are paying attention to what you are saying.

Hair, Make-up, Nails, and Accessories

When considering make-up, hair, nails and jewelry, you want them all to accent your face. Make-up should be natural with a bold lip color. “The” acceptable bold lip color is red. This draws the interviewer eyes to your face. Jewelry should be a one strand pearl necklace, big accented pearl earrings (bigger than a dime but smaller than a quarter,) and a maximum of one ring on each hand.  The necklace and earrings should serve as frame for your face. If you wear a ring, it should be worn on your ring fingers. Nails should be a well manicured, natural color.

Poise and Confidence in the Interview

When you walk into your interview room, be sure to wait for your interviewer to welcome you to sit before grabbing a seat. Be sure to sit up straight and smile. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm about the position.

With these key factors in mind for your interview, you will be sure to leave a memorable, positive, capable image of yourself in the interviewer’s mind.

To better understand Lisa’s tips, please click the video link. For additional guidance on what to wear for an interview, how to answer interview questions, and/or how to put together a resume, please contact the Embry-Riddle Career Services Office.

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