Monthly Archives: April 2017

Best Colors You Should Wear To a Job Interview

Sure, prepping to answer tough questions is the hardest part of an interview—but trying to figure out what clothing and color you should wear to a job interview freaks us out, too. Landing a job interview usually leads to the closet war of all closet wars, and totally stresses us out when we should be aiming to feel calm, cool, and collected.

You’ve heard the standard advice: Dress for the industry in which you’re interviewing (there’s a big difference between a job at a white-shoe law firm and a tech startup, and your clothes should reflect that), don’t wear anything too fashion forward (you want to be the star of the interview, not your handbag) and, above all else, don’t you dare wear something sloppy or better suited for a night of cocktails with your friends than a serious job interview. But, what about color?

CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive conducted a study, polling hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes, asking the simple question, what’s the best color to wear to a job interview? Blue was the most recommended color, while orange came in dead last.

Deciding what shade to wear is slightly more complex than just picking blue and forgoing orange, though, as employers reported that various colors send various messages during the interview process. Do you want to come across as organized, for instance? Or creative?

“That first impression on an interview counts so much, and you don’t want to be out of the race before the interview even begins,” said Sherry Maysonave, head of Empowerment Enterprises, an image consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. “That [impression] happens in less than 30 seconds and it’s based entirely upon your attire.”

Here, a breakdown of the messages various colors can send during an interview so you can land the job that you deserve.

Blue is the ultimate safe choice

Blue was the most recommended color by hiring professionals surveyed by CareerBuilder, with 23 percent responding they actually preferred the hue. Shades of blue send the message that you’re credible and trustworthy according to experts. Lisa Johnson Mandell of AOL Jobs writes: “Studies show that navy blue is the best color for a suit to wear to a job interview because it inspires confidence.” Be wary, though, of choosing navy for more creative job interviews, where you could come off looking too conservative.

Avoid brown altogether

Brown doesn’t have negative connotations—you’ll send the message of being comforting and reliable—but it can also convey the image that you are simple and old-fashioned, qualities that aren’t exactly positive in job interviews when you want to convey the message of being forward-thinking and modern. So you don’t run the risk of coming off as staid, just avoid brown altogether.

Black conveys leadership—so save it for interviews for management positions

Besides blue, experts also favor black for job interviews, with 15 percent of respondents from the CareerBuilder survey saying it was their top pick. Still, be careful when selecting black for an interview. Color experts rank black the highest on the authority scale, which means it’s a great color to wear for an interview for a management position, but be wary of the risk of overpowering the person you’re interviewing with if you are applying to be an assistant, for instance.

Kat Griffin of Corporette’s advice on wearing black? Whatever you do, don’t mix and match different blacks. “Please do not try to match different black fabrics to ‘make’ a suit,” she says.

Red sends a message of power, but not in a good way

You’ll definitely convey that you’re both bold and assertive if you wear red to a job interview, but in most cases, hiring professionals think the color can come off as domineering, and even worse, rebellious. There’s an exception to every rule, and red can be a great color in fields like sales and the law, where being aggressive is considered a positive.

Gray is another safe choice

If you want to send the message to your (hopefully) future employer that you are both logical and analytical, then grey is the way to go. The understated shade works well for interviews in just about every field. Applying for a job where you want to show a bit of your personality? Dress up your grey outfit with colored accessories like a scarf or a handbag.

Just say no to wearing orange

Orange topped CareerBuilder’s list for the absolute worst color to wear to a job interview, with 25 percent of respondents saying they associated the color with someone who’s unprofessional. What’s that? You’re dying to finally wear that new tangerine blouse? Save it for the weekend.

Interview day is not the day to get creative or show your prospective employer your ‘fun’ personality,” said Mary Orton of Memorandum.

White sends the message that you’re organized and detail-oriented

Send the message that you’re organized, impartial, and looking to make a clean start wearing white. While wearing a white suit is probably too big of a statement for a job interview, opt for a white blazer over a black shift dress, or a white button-down paired with a pencil skirt to get the benefits of wearing the shade.

Save purple and yellow for interviews in creative fields

For the most part, experts suggest playing it safe with neutrals for job interviews in most fields, but if you’re interviewing for a job in a creative field, don’t be afraid to wear certain colors. Purple sends the message of being artistic and unique, while yellow projects optimism and creativity.

 

Tips To Wear to A Job Interview

Whether we like it or not, fashion matters when it comes to landing your dream job—and having your closet ready with job interview outfits can help take a little pressure off an already stressful situation.

When deciding what to wear to a job interview, you want to fit in to the company culture—but also, of course, stand out from the pack—and navigating the two can be a challenge. Nowadays, even some of the strictest companies have relaxed their dress codes to adapt to the startup-fueled, tech-first economy, but what’s appropriate still varies from industry to industry—and despite the fact that we’d all like to think our resume speaks louder than our pencil skirt, what you wear during the interview process remains very important.

“First impressions are critical. What you wear is the first thing people see, before you even say a word,” says Barry Drexler, the founder of Expert Interview Coach. “[Hiring managers] evaluate your appearance because they don’t know you yet, and they don’t have a lot to go on.”

It’s during this first interaction that people size you up based on everything from your handshake to your choice of shoes. Whoever is hiring needs to be able to visualize you in the position they’re trying to fill—and, in 2016, that doesn’t necessarily mean showing up in something extra-conservative.

“Recent grads especially are fish out of water,” says Jill Jacinto, media manager for WORKS by Nicole Williams, a company dedicated to helping young women find jobs. “They often get advice from their parents, who say they need a classic suit. My mom, who hasn’t worked in years, took me suit shopping. And I was taking her advice, which now seems laughable. We need to break away from the power suit mentality.”

So, how do we know what’s appropriate and what’s not? “It’s all about understanding the company culture,” says Ryan Kahn, founder of The Hired Group and MTV’s Hired career coach.

That means everything from knowing if the executive team will likely be dressed in hoodies (and what that means for you as a hopeful employee) to understanding what colors are likely to be acceptable—a pink handbag is probably going to look a lot more at home in an interview with Kate Spade New York, for instance, than it will at Bloomberg. “You want to wear colors that show you fit in the company’s culture and that show your personality, but in subtle way,” says Rahel Berihu, a stylist and longtime volunteer at Dress For Success, which provides support and professional clothing to promote women’s economic independence. “You don’t want your outfit to be overpowering or distracting.”

Though everyone we spoke to agreed that overdressed is better than underdressed, neither is a particularly good look. “People in creative firms might see you as less creative, a little uptight, not someone who will roll up their sleeves and get dirty,” says Frank Dahill, senior recruiter and branding expert at Sam & Lori, a New York recruitment firm that focuses on creative industries.

Below, our experts weigh in on how to put your best foot forward, fashion-wise, in a job interview in five different fields.

If you’re interviewing for: a creative job

Examples: writer, editor, photo editor, film, graphic designer, art director

  • While jobs in creative fields give you a bit more leeway to be, well, creative with your attire, here a common pitfall is wanting to show too much personality right off the bat. “I’m not worried about personality in your clothes,” says Dahill. “If you have no personality, clothes won’t help. I’d rather see you be more conservative.”
  • While you shouldn’t show up in a skirt suit, don’t show up in something wild or trend-driven either.
  • Jacinto advises “tone it down and apply the rule of taking one piece off before the interview.”
  • Be comfortable. Jacinto proposes trying your outfit on before the interview to “know how your clothing reacts in different situations.”
  • Shoes should be closed-toe, pants should be black or dark denim, and accessories kept to a minimum.

If you’re interviewing for: a client-based corporate job

Examples: law firm, real estate, public relations, sales, marketing, advertising or account executives

  • Be well-groomed. Don’t wear too much makeup and have your hair clean and simple. Never wear perfume.
  • Invest in a nice blazer. This can be used to dress up anything from simple blouses to well-cut trousers. Again, shoes should be close-toe and no higher than three inches.
  • Keep colors conservative, says Kahn. “Keep it classy. Nothing too vibrant, bright, or distracting.”
  • Berihu advises against “bright colors, distracting prints, or anything lacy, sheer, or low-cut.” Keep the attention on you, not your clothing.

If you’re interviewing for: a fashion job

Examples: fashion editor, buyer, stylist, designer, merchandiser, assistant, sales

  • According to Drexler, a mistake people make when interviewing for a fashion-related job is to make a broad-brush assumption that they should dress edgy or super on-trend.
  • What you wear here depends on the specific job and company you’re interviewing for—keep the aesthetics of the brand in mind while getting dressed, but don’t show up in a head-to-toe runway look.
  • Keep clothes simple and instead make accessories the focal point. Have stylish shoes, a sharp bag and modern jewelry displaying your great taste.
  • Don’t try to be too fashion-forward. You want people to think “she looks presentable and stylish in that dress” as opposed to “wow, that’s a really expensive designer dress.” Clothes shouldn’t be a distraction.

If you’re interviewing for: a finance job

Examples: banking, consulting, hedge funds, accounting, insurance, research analyst, stock analyst

  • In finance—at least at the interview stage—not much has changed. Don’t push the envelope, and appear conservative and professional.
  • Wear a dark, two-piece pantsuit or skirt suit. Lighten it up with a white or softly-colored blouse and conservative accessories.
  • “Look for pants that are fitted and have a bit of a taper,” says Berihu. “And if your suit has a skirt, it should be knee-length or below and tailored appropriately.”
  • If you’re wearing tights, Jacinto suggests bringing an extra pair in case they run. “You never know what will happen the day of, so be prepared.”
  • On that note, don’t wear colorful or patterned tights, open-toe shoes, super-high heels, or low-cut tops.

If you’re interviewing for: a tech/startup job

Examples: engineer, coder, product manager, designer, communications, content strategist, IT

  • Startups often have a young staff and foster a collegiate atmosphere, so the biggest fear people have here is being overdressed in a sea of hipsters.
  • A good rule of thumb is to dress a half-step up from everyone else “so the person interviewing you knows you’re dressed up for an interview,” says Dahill.
  • Coming in wearing a corporate-style suit makes it look like you know nothing about the industry. “If you’re going to a startup in a three-piece suit, you may say the right things, but you look like you’re looking for an environment that’s different, and the company might think they cant offer you want you want,” explains Jacinto.
  • Show that you’re serious about the position without being overdressed. Opt for dark denim and a tucked-in blouse, or a stylish skirt with a chambray button-down and blazer or basic sweater, and accessorize from there.

 

Make Ripped Jeans in 5 Easy Steps

Wearing ripped jeans is a fine art, really. Done right, they look fashioned forward and cool—but one wrong tear and you’re on your way to looking like Donnie Wahlberg during the New Kids on the Block Hangin’ Tough Tour of ’89. So, knowing the exact right way how to cut holes in jeans is obviously clutch.

It’s clear ripped jeans aren’t a new trend—not even close. The distressed style has fallen in and out of fashion favor since the 1980s, but it seems that lately, they’re more popular than ever. Between street style stars pairing ripped up styles with It-bags to celebs like Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, and Selena Gomez wearing torn denim non-stop, holes are pretty much everywhere. That’s why, rather than ponying up $200 for a designer pair, we suggest a little DIY action.

The problem with buying already-distressed denim is that you don’t have much control over the rips themselves. That might sound a little bit like a Champagne problem, but we all have our preferences when it comes to placement, size, and scope of the tears. Do we like two gaping holes at the knees, a few tiny nicks, or a series of serious slashes down the leg?

Plus, shelling out cash for jeans that look as if they’re one step away from the giveaway pile can be a hard pill to swallow. That said, we’ve highlighted 5 simple steps that outline how to rip jeans yourself.

1. Choose your denim

The first step, obviously, is picking out which pair of jeans you want to rip. Tight and skinny, or boyfriend style? Black, white, or blue? High-waisted or mid-rise? We find it’s best to do a few trial runs with either a pair of jeans you don’t really wear anymore, or denim you’ve picked up for cheap at spots like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You definitely don’t want to take to your new pair of $200 J Brands with a scissor just yet.

If you want your jeans to look extra-worn, wash them a few times in hot water and a little bleach before you get started. If not, read on!

2. Gather your supplies to distress and rip

To really make jeans look authentically ripped, it pays to distress them a bit before you start cutting the holes. To do this, you’ll want to grab some sandpaper or a paint-removing block, steel wool, and a pumice stone. For the holes, use a pair of super-sharp small scissors, an X-Acto knife, or a box cutter. We like to use a piece of cardboard or a small wooden block inside the pant legs so you don’t alter the back of the jeans—unless you want to.

3. Put your jeans on to mark

Use a pen, chalk or a safety-pin to denote exactly where you want your rips and/or distressed areas. You might want to grab a ruler, too. It’s key do this while you’re standing.

4. Start distressing

Lay the jeans flat and start rubbing your marked areas with your sandpaper, steel wool, and the pumice stone until the denim starts to really thin out and look worn. Obviously, the time it takes to do this step depends on the thickness of your jeans. If you really want to go for it in the knee or butt area, tape some sandpaper to the floor, put the jeans back on, and slide around on the paper.

5. Start making your holes

After your jeans are sufficiently distressed, take your scissors or knife and use the edge (not the tip) to start horizontally scraping the area where you want your rips to be. If you don’t want holes all the way through, scrape enough that you start to see the white horizontal threads beneath the denim’s surface. Once you’re there, you can start using a tweezer to fray the threads. If skin is what you’re after, start cutting the distressed areas with your knife or scissors.