Interview "Look"

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by missml, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. missml

    missml Rookie

    Feb 29, 2012
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    Aug 2, 2012

    I have an interview on Friday for a middle school language arts position. This will be my 5th interview this summer (2 were in-person and 2 were phone interviews. This will be an in-person interview.), but I'm hoping it will be my first job offer! I don't think my "look" has been an issue at all for my other interviews. However, I look incredibly young for my age, and I'm afraid I look like I'm playing dress-up when I go to these interviews. I'd like some input as to what is most professional.


    Grey pencil skirt or black pants?
    Black heels or black flats?
    White, Red, or Gold (or other color?) shirt under a black blazer?


    Up, down, or half up/half down?
    Straight or curly?


    Nail polish or no nail polish?
    Jewelry or no jewelry?
    Bring a purse/teaching bag or no purse/teaching bag?

    I realize I may be over-thinking this a bit, and most people will say to do whatever is most comfortable or whatever gives the most confidence. However, I've mixed it up for my other interviews, and none of my options seem to give me much of a confidence boost :unsure:

    Thanks in advance!
  3. unity

    unity Rookie

    May 27, 2012
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    Aug 2, 2012

    I interviewed for an SDC high school position, got it, but accepted another offer. I've been told I look ten years younger, so I had the same concerns.

    I wore a black skirt, black skirt, dark green blazer, with a white scarf. I wore black pumps, too. I think nail polish will make you look younger, unless it the french manicure type. I didn't wear jewelry, there's no need for a purse and teachers in my area don't carry them.

    I think you want the focus to be on your answers, not "Where did she get that bracelet, I must have it?".
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    May 24, 2008
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    Aug 2, 2012

    I think people look like they are playing dress up when the clothes don't fit well or they are going way over the top. Do you have a gal pal that can look at both outfits and the different styles to help you out?
  5. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

    May 6, 2011
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    Aug 2, 2012

    Go with a conservative outfit and avoid the following: heavy makeup, lipgloss, eyeliner. Anything shimmery on your face screams "student". Avoid the nail polish unless clear or French.

    Obviously, no cleavage or bra straps showing. You'd be amazed at how many of the student teachers and interns these days make these fashion faux pas.

    I don't think the outfit matters so much as long as it is neat, tailored, and professional.
  6. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

    Jun 12, 2012
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    Aug 2, 2012

    I have the same problem: I look young. Especially because I'm certified to teach secondary education, and particularly when I'm interviewing at high schools, this worries me. Here's what I've been wearing:

    - Black pants. I don't own any skirts and I'm not comfortable wearing them, anyway. Also, black pants are a much more flattering choice for my body type.
    - I don't think it matters what color shirt you wear, as long as it's not hot pink or electric blue or something. I wore a gray shirt under a black blazer to a couple interviews, a gold one to a couple of others, and a medium green shirt to another. I also made sure that I was wearing shirts that were cut professionally/conservatively.
    - Shoes are my biggest issue, but I wear black flats. I do not walk well in heals, and the last thing I want to be doing at an interview is tripping all over myself because of this. However, I'm very short (5', and I might even be being a bit generous there), and I've always sort of feared the possibility that my height is considered a negative to interviewers, so it's not something I want to emphasize. Ideally, I'd wear shoes with a small (maybe half-inch?) heal. My shoes are really such a problem, though, it's awful: my old shoes are starting to look...old, and I can't find any new shoes that fit me. I wear a size 5 in dress shoes, and every store I've been to only carries down to size 6, which are all gigantic.
    - I don't carry a purse in with me. I think mine has a bit too much "personality," but if it were more conservative in appearance, I might bring it with me.
    - I wear my hair curly (and down - it's too short to put up). My hair is naturally curly, I am not good with hair at all, and attempting to straighten my hair in the summer has never really been all that effective of an endeavor. I've heard that straight hair is more professional, but that seems really ridiculous to me for a number of reasons, and I think it's best to just wear your hair however you feel most comfortable.
    - I don't wear nail polish because I never wear nail polish. The only jewelry I wear are earrings (small silver hoops) and a watch, because it's understated enough to be professional, in my opinion, and again, it's all I ever wear, anyway. I never wear makeup, but I did wear it to a couple interviews - very light, neutral colors, and all I used was foundation, blush, and eye-shadow. I've been told before that part of the reason I look so young is that I don't wear makeup, which I don't think is entirely true (it's not like it covers up my facial features or even my freckles, after all), but I figured it was worth a try.

    Looking over all of that, I think the most important thing is to make sure that you feel comfortable and like yourself in whatever you're wearing, and if in doubt, err on the side of being more conservative in your choices. Hope this helps!
  7. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Jul 28, 2006
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    Aug 2, 2012

    I don't think it is as important whether you wear pants/skirt, hair up/down, heels/flats -but whether it is professional looking. Is the skirt too tight? Are the pants cut like a teenager wears? I would not wear a dark (like black or navy) nail polish. Be careful not to wear too much fragrance. No bra straps showing, no cleavage, no flip flops even if you think they are fancy flip flops. If the school has a dress code for students, you certainly don't want to break dress code during your interview. You also don't want to look like you borrowed your mom's suit though. Don't be afraid to wear something that shows your personality. I always word some kind of fun shoes.
    Good luck.
  8. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

    May 10, 2011
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    Aug 2, 2012

    I look very young. Most people are surprised that I'm not still in high school (I'm 23!). When I went to my interview that eventually landed my current job, this is what I wore:

    -blank suit (pants)
    -a black blouse with tan polka dot design. It has a flattering v-neck (but shows no cleavage) and some ruffled flower appliqués. It sounds ugly, but it is actually quite cute under the black jacket!
    -red heels (yes, that was my bit of color!)
    -I brought with me my usual purse (black leather Coach bag) and my portfolio (red leather)

    My hair was straight, half up half down. No jewelry (I don't usually wear much anyways). My nails were french manicure.

    I think it depends less on how you look and more on how you present yourself. I had a solid answer to all of their questions, I sat up straight and didn't fidget with my hair or anything else, I looked at each member of the panel as I answered questions. You can't help the way you look physically, but you can "wow" them with your personality and content knowledge.

    GOOD LUCK! :)

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