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Friday, April 3, 2009

Tips About Appearance For Attending An Interview and Presentation

Appearing In An Interview

When attending an interview try to avoid extremes of fashion, no tight or revealing clothing, no strong perfume or aftershave or large jewelery that jangles every time you move - and don’t forget to check those shoes.

Use clothes to assert yourself, choosing the clothes that make you feel confident and that suit you. Be aware of your body shape and clothes that emphasize this or hide it. Learn to play up your strengths and down your weaknesses. Look at buying good accessories.

Trousers should not be too long and hanging over shoes. Neither should they be flying at half-mast, displaying Mickey Mouse socks or, worse, white socks. Shoes in both men and women should match the color of the trousers: brown shoes should not be worn with a dark suit, navy, black or Grey trousers. In women, shoes should be the same color or darker than a skirt, and tights or stockings should also be darker than or of the same color as the skirt.

Whether male or female, if you are wearing trousers that have belt loops then do wear a matching belt. Again, ensure that your trousers sit comfortably on you and that they are not torn in any way. Yes, I have seen a man with trousers torn at the crutch!!

Make sure your clothes fit you and that your shirt or blouse is not straining across your midriff. Also, if wearing a jacket, make sure it fits when fastened.

Appearing In A Presentation

If you are giving a presentation then think of your audience. Adapt your outfit to tone in with your audience. If I am giving a talk to a group of educationalists then I will dress smartly but more informally. I will wear neutral colors that look and feel comfortable and do not threaten the audience. White itself is a neutral color and therefore not particularly threatening unless you associate it with ‘the men in white coats’ coming to take you away, ha, ha! It can, though, sometimes be a bit overpowering and I will often soften my white with a colored scarf.

If I am giving a conference talk to a group of bankers, lawyers or accountants I will always wear a suit, usually navy blue to aid authority. Try not to choose overpowering colors or clothes as that will only overpower your message. You want people to remember you and what you talked about, not what you wore.

Research your audience and adapt your outfit to tone with your audience’s style. If your audience, however, are going to be casually dressed do not tone down your attire completely by wearing jeans and a t-shirt. You need to maintain some authority so you should be dressed casually but smartly.

Never let your appearance overpower your message.

Beware of clothes with bold patterns, and avoid dangling earrings or bracelets that jangle, which will be extremely irritating for the audience, as irritating as a man turning over the loose change in his pocket!