There are a few occasions in life when we have just one opportunity to create a great impression. And one of those occasions is an interview. While we can live with the assurance that God looks at our heart, the Bible says that man looks on the outside (1 Samuel 16 v). So as women leaders, seeking employment in the world, it is certainly something to keep in mind. Even if we arrive at an interview equipped with first class credentials it is likely that our prospective employer will be looking at our ‘outer man’.
If we put as much time and thought into our appearance as we do into completing our application forms it will definitely pay off. I remember a friend saying how she got caught in a rain storm before she arrived at her interview. Water was literally running off her clothes as she sat in the reception area waiting to be called. She said that after that painful lesson she has never left her home without an umbrella if she has an interview lined up. Another friend who is a receptionist tells how she was assessing people as they arrived for a middle management position and she noticed one woman walking across the parking lot wearing flip-flops!
When it comes to selecting the ideal outfit for an interview a good-quality, well-fitting suit is hard to beat. And a skirt suit is preferable to wearing pants. A lovely suit really is investment dressing – choose a simple classic style and you won’t have wasted your money. A straight skirt is more formal than a gathered one. If you are looking for a position in a creative environment then add your pop of color in the form of beautiful chiffon shirt. Otherwise, choose white. A pristine white shirt flatters virtually everyone and looks highly professional. However,do check the buttoning. Sometimes the shirts gaps around the bust if they are either too tight or there isn’t enough overlap. The same applies to your suit. Find one that gently falls over your body. A jacket that’s too tight always looks cheap. Avoid pure linen and only select this cloth if it’s mixed with a high percentage of man-made fibers so it won’t crease. One of the least considered, but most important aspects of a good jacket is that it fits well on the shoulders. Check that the shoulder seam really does sit on the top of your arm, rather than halfway down it! And find a suit that is fully lined as this will preserve its life and ensure that it hangs well.
PRINTS OR PLAIN
If your budget allows, try to invest in a complete suit. If you buy just a jacket and try to match it in with an existing plain skirt this might be impossible. Even if you are buying from the same fashion label the garments will probably have come from different dye lots. However, if you can only afford a jacket then look for something in a soft check, tweed or with a subtle pattern and match it in with your skirt. The edge-to-edge designer collarless jackets made in boucle can look lovely.