What should I wear for an Interview: 40+ woman?


With the current climate and people being made unemployed – a lot of them woman it would seem – it is going to be more important than ever to feel confident and self-assured when you go for a job interview. You know the saying “you never get a second chance at a first impression”.

A lot of interviews at the moment are being held via Zoom or Skype and this adds another dimension to the problem. I will be covering this in another blog and on video.

But, if you are asked for an interview face to face (albeit 2 meters apart!), then it is going to be crucial you feel confident and at your best.

The most important thing you can do before any interview, be it online, via phone or face to face, is to research, research, research.

Learn about the company you are applying for, what are their ethics, what is their mission statement, how many people work there – there is usually a lot you can find out about them via Google.

Also find out about their dress code, either by looking at pictures on the website, various profiles or asking the HR Department when you arrange the interview.

This is where the trick comes in – what happens if the dress code is very corporate – dark suits, dark shirts, dark tights, etc – and your style personality is Natural, say – casual, unfussy, lots of denim, full, long skirts, earthy tones. You will immediately feel uncomfortable, uneasy and alien in a suit and high heels.

This will, in turn, make you feel un-self-confident and out of place, which then feeds the imposter syndrome so familiar with us all.

So, what is the solution to this? How can you dress for the part, but still retain enough of “you” to keep your self-confidence and poise and let you get the job you deserve?

The answer really is quite simple: Acknowledge and accede to the dress code, but keep you style personality in it.

For instance, taking the example above, the Company dress code is corporate suits, dark tights, classic heels. Your style personality is natural, so maybe look at a trouser suit, rather than a skirt suit. A straight legged trouser with a fitted jacket, made from a slightly stretchy fabric, in blue or black ,with a shirt or blouse in your favourite colour, paired with a low heeled court shoe or a flat, pointed toe, would make you feel more yourself. Add a low key necklace, maybe with a natural stone. Keep your makeup minimal, but polished looking and if you hair is long, tie it back neatly.

The next thing to do is to practice, practice, practice! If you have been spending the last couple of months like the rest of us, wearing loungewear, jeans, sports gear or just plain scruffs, then dress up in your “work gear” for a couple of days and practice being in it – let it become a part of you and if you don’t feel it is letting your “authentic you” come out, then tweak it until it feels like a second skin.

This way you will be able to concentrate on being the amazing “you” you are and not feel like an imposter in a suit!

For more information on Style Me, or for ways to feel more confident at an interview email: info@elinorsalter.com for my free guide.

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