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The How-To Lounge: How to Impress on a Job Interview

We all know that going on a job interview can be quite daunting, but when you throw in the worry about what to wear, how to do your hair, and what purse to carry, you add another level of anxiety to the table.

To help ease your worries, click here to

  • It's important to look good on paper, but in order to impress your interviewer, you need to dress the part as well
  • Some people fear wearing nice clothing or designer handbags and shoes, but according to Adam Glassman, O Magazine's creative director, it's fine to wear recognizably high-end items —he feels it shows good taste!
  • Never over-accessorize. Stick to classics. If you want to show your personality, choose a pair of fashion earrings, or a necklace, but never both
  • Be sure you have a good haircut. Even if you wear a simple outfit to an interview, you can't hide your hair so be sure to keep it looking healthy, well groomed and most importantly out of your face
  • Adam Glassman also feels that your shoes should be well kept. They don't have to be expensive, but they shouldn't look worn out or scuffed up either
  • A firm handshake is more important than you think - it exudes confidence. While I didn't understand why my Dad made me practice my handshake with him all the time while I was growing up, I now thank him for showing me the ropes. Every time I shake someone's hand, I get complimented about how great my firm handshake is.

I hope these tips help you on your next interview, and most importantly, remember to stand up straight and put your best foot forward. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Make sure you also research the company before you go into the interview. Make sure you know what your 3 strengths and weaknesses are because most companies love asking this. Also, have at least three questions you can ask the company about the position, company, or work enviroment (never ask about money upfront or vacation).
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
Demonkitty, I've got curly black hair and I've worn it down for interviews. I always get a cut and deep conditioning before an interview and I wear it off my face with dark clips. I'm not sure what industry you're in, but I work as a writer, so it's not as hardcore. I worked corporate once and I did get a blow-out for a couple interviews and wore it up for the last two. My hair has never stopped me from getting a job.
rlveronica rlveronica 9 years
Thanks for the advice, Dear! But sadly, I've been doing all of those things this whole summer and no bites. :(
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Dress for the industry you are interviewing. If your in fashion than I would expect someone to show up in something a little more fashion forward, if your interviewing to be an investment banker in a suit. I do not wear suits so I don't interview in them mainly because I am so uncomfortable and it shows. Research the company you are working for and know every little thing about them.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Wierdest Job interview was for a Part time temporary position at the Disney Store. Asked me what disney character i am most like(sebastian the crab) , What part of a salad would i be (croutons), and they took a polaroid of me to remember who i was. I got the job, but than i quit two weeks later when i learned we had to buy our own gay uniforms.
designergirl designergirl 9 years
I'm looking for my first job out of college right now. I know that you're supposed to dress conservatively, but how conservatively? Do I have to wear pantyhose? Is it ok to carry a brown bag with a black outfit? Feeling good about my appearance helps my confidence a lot, so any pointers would be much appreciated.
lily314 lily314 9 years
Eh, one or two great questions that show you did your homework on the firm and you're curious about the job will go further than three or more mediocre questions like "What is a typical day like for you?" or "What sets this firm apart from its competitors?"
notoriuskitty notoriuskitty 9 years
you're supposed to ask at LEAST 3 questions too! make sure they know you're interested in the job!
demonkitty18 demonkitty18 9 years
Some friends of mine tell me that people think that curly hair girls are thought to be wilder and less responsible :S my hair is a problems cuz its curly but i always make sure its neat n glossy
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
I always tend to dress conservative, but with a twist. For example, if I wear my business black pant suit, I will put a fitted (and definatley not faded) black t-shirt under it and a vintage brooch. It shows that I can think outside of the box.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
And ask questions!! If you have questions about the job requirements or hours, ask. Don't wait until you're hired to ask and then find out it's not a good fit. I completely agree with Marci about showing personality as well.
Marci Marci 9 years
These are all great tips. I'd also add to not be too nervous or shy about showing your personality. IT's nice to get an idea of who might be coming on board. And remember: You're also interviewing them. You need to like where you might be working and the people you might be working with. So look around at the environment, check out the people working there and if they seem content or stressed or anything noticeable that's either positive or negative.
lily314 lily314 9 years
The caveat to designer items is that it should be glaring, i.e. D&G glasses with the logo on the side. Tasteful, not show-offish. A nice briefcase / work bag (leather is best) with a nice notepad portfolio (also leather) for finance interviews, where you might have to do quick math or take notes.
tati33 tati33 9 years
Thanks! I'll be looking for a new job soon! ;)
Greggie Greggie 9 years
The thing I'd add to the hair is that it's updated as well as well-groomed - if you need your roots done, get it done before the interview.
eaker eaker 9 years
Make sure your nails are clean. A guy lost out on a job at my company because his filthy hands didn't mesh with the image he was trying to sell.
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