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Interview Savvy: Presenting The Best You

Interview Savvy: Presenting The Best You
2012/01/08 Better Blueprint

The start of the year means, for some, the start of a "new you". That can include a new diet, a new workout regiment, or a new lifestyle and job - woot woot! This post isn't for you seasoned vets but rather for our greener, less experienced budding rock stars. Image is everything ~ the moment you walk in a room, you're being assessed so today's lesson is about "Presenting the Best You".

Questions that likely cross your mind are:

  • What do I wear?
  • What questions should I ask, or not?
  • How should me makeup look (ladies only)?
  • What kind of handbag is right?

Well, today I'm your fairy Godmother and we've got answers to your questions.....

Let's start with some dressing basics:

  1. Ladies ~ no skin above the kneecap
  2. Men ~ squared toe cap has amateur, and almond-shaped toe cap says aspirational
  3. Ladies ~ no points for a 'killer bod' so show less shape (hinting at shape is better anyway)
  4. Your outfit = your personality so add a touch of color or print to show you've got flavor
  5. Shoes ~ they should be shows you actually care
  6. "The devil is in the details" ~ it's the little stains that make the biggest impact (really, you couldn't get your shirt cleaned for your interview?!)
  7. Suit color = neutral so your suit (and it's a suit not separates) should be navy, grey or camel. Black is for pallbearers and brown...well, it's just unimpressive. A neutral suits says you want to fit in (we'll deal with ways to stand out after you're in!)
  8. Care enough not to carry multiple bags ~ one tote or purse, no more! Gents you can carry a tote with a copy of resume, etc; and ladies you can carry a purse with a portfolio or a tote (see gents).

We'll throw in some makeup tips as well (compliments of Julia Coney, international travel and makeup savant and Laura Bateman, Makeup Artist extraordinaire):

  1. Too much of a good thing is too much ~ they need to see the real you, not the made up you! Your makeup should not be the first thing you interview notices
  2. Overall makeup look ~ less is more. Don't overdue it. As much as you love a strong eye with lots of shadow and mascara, it's best to go with a neutral shadow and a few coats of mascara. Aim for even tone and skip the bronzer so you look energetic, not like you've been lounging by the pool
  3. Lips ~ although a red lip may be your "signature"  and in this season, it's best to use a neutral lip color and just a dab of gloss. Too much shine is a distraction during the interview process. Something like NARS Dolce Vita sheer lipstick gives just enough color and sheen.
  4. Nails ~ dark nails are definite no-no for most formal, professional environments. For banking and legal fields, a light nude or pink polish like Essie Mademoiselle is perfect. For more creative industries, you can't go wrong with a classic red nail.
  5. Hair ~ a classic chignon or low ponytail is perfect for an interview. If your hair is short, a tapered look is best. This is not the time for spiky hair; and keep it off your face!

NOT done yet....

The 'best you' isn't best quite yet ~ we said all of this to say that you need BeKnown in your life too (yes, they even have an iPhone app). recently launched BeKnown, a professional networking app for Facebook. BeKnown allows you to set up a professional profile directly on Facebook that is completely separate from your personal Facebook page. One of the apps newest features, College Pages, even provides a way for alumni to network professionally on Facebook and view job postings from their fellow graduates!

“As soon-to-be college graduates start to think about their entry into the workforce, their first step should be building out their professional networks using the invaluable connections they have right in front of them,” said Tom Chevalier, Global Product Manager for Monster Worldwide. “Alumni networks are a key source for career opportunities for college graduates, so we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to connect and engage right from BeKnown.”

If you clicked on the link and downloaded the app, now you're ready to present the 'best you'!

Note: I am a participant in's “Present the Best You” Online Contest. As a participant, sent me a prize pack that included a makeup kit and business card holder.