The Runway Rundown:
You’ve finally landed the perfect internship interview that could lead to your dream job. An interview with the best in the business is the first step toward making a lasting impression.
Appearance and confidence are everything.
When you’re dressed for success, confidence will follow, and employers will take notice. There is nothing brighter than a positive and eager attitude.
When it comes to transitionaing into interview attire from sweatpants and a T-shirt, it’s important to plan ahead.
“I always tell people to dress for the position that they want, not necessarily the position that they are interviewing for,” said Brian Ford, vice president of business administration for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I always go back to the old saying: first impressions are lasting impressions.”
Stay away from the crop tops and skinny jeans, fashionistas. In today’s world, business suits are becoming an option. They are an important investment for a college student.
Making a professional statement is not about bright colors or flashy jewelry. It’s about showing you mean business and that you’re willing to learn. When it comes to appearance, you want the employer to see the skills that you will contribute to their organization, not a lack of cleanliness and the inability to represent yourself in a professional manner.
To make the best first impression, everything from a neat hairstyle to polished shoes is important. While different work environments require different attire – whether casual or formal – these simple tips are a good start for any professional look.
Men’s attire should consist of a button-down, long-sleeve white shirt, dark slacks, dark socks, professional shoes and an optional blue or black suit jacket. Also, consider a conservative tie. As for hygiene, neatly trimmed nails and light cologne are important.
Ladies, skirts should be no higher than just above the knees and paired with hosiery. A conservative hairstyle and simple jewelry can also contribute to a clean and professional look. Low heels and natural makeup are also ideal.
Now that you have the look, it’s time to do research.
“Research is key – know who the CEO is and understand the company’s mission statement,” said Sharon Alvanzo, human resources director for the Girl Scouts. “Don’t create one generic resume and cover letter for every position. Personalize the two for each specific position you will interview for. Also, remember to spell-check your resume. Nothing says careless like a typo. Collecting business cards and sending thank you e-mails can also distinguish one candidate from another.”
Ford stressed researching the company and its ownership structure.
“Having a good understanding in these areas will help the candidate develop questions and answers to questions. You cannot be over prepared,” he said.
While attitude is a valuable part of creating a confident look, it also takes a professional appearance, a hunger for knowledge and a sense of urgency.
Remember: While being fashionably late is sometimes acceptable in the entertainment industry, arriving early for an interview is serious business. Now that you’re closer to landing that opportunity of a lifetime, remember to stay calm and most importantly smile!