Summer Interviews: Your Appearance Matters

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There’s nothing worse than interviewing for an important job and wearing business clothes in 90 degree heat. I feel your pain because I live in the south. We have heat, humidity, and lots of sunshine.

I have basic tips for you if you have an interview scheduled during the dog days of summer. Some of these are gained from personal, embarrassing experiences. You can guess which ones. (Okay, all of them.)

  • Take a shower and use deodorant soap. This applies to both men and women. Dial. Lever 2000. Whatever. I know you think I’m nuts, but these products work for a reason. Against your personal beliefs to use such harsh chemicals? That’s a judgment call you have to make, but a good infrastructure means that you have one less thing to worry about. By one less thing, I mean your smelly pits.
  • Skip lotions, perfumes, and anything that might make you look & feel oily. Wear deodorant and antiperspirant but stick to unscented brands.
  • Prevent chafing, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman. I can see it in your face when you are uncomfortable in your clothes. Use Body Glide on your inner thighs and under tight bra straps. There is Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief and Vagisil Satin. I know you think this is gross, but it’s not. I’m not a big believer in using these products on a regular basis, but clothing doesn’t like to breathe in the summertime. Help your body out before you have a problem.
  • Does your clothing smell perfumy with a hint of body odor at seams? Wash your clothing with WIN.
  • Men should always wear an undershirt. I know it’s hot outside, but I don’t want to see your hairy chest.
  • Women should wear a good bra. I know it’s tempting to wear a sports bra, but don’t. Go to Nordstrom Rack and buy a Le Mystere or Wacoal bra for $27. You just need one. Nude works with just about everything.
  • Wear primer. Smashbox. Benefit. Lancome. Find something at Walmart. Keep the rest of your make-up light so it doesn’t pool, drip, or smear. There’s nothing worse than too much foundation and bronzer. I also recommend blotting papers. Toilet seat covers work well, too. I learned this on a cable TV makeover show.
  • Men need to wear a jacket and a tie. I don’t care if it’s a suit or a blazer. This is America, and we dress up for interviews regardless of the season. You can find a simple navy blue blazer at Goodwill. Solid ties are fine. Not too wide, not too skinny and you’ll be just fine.
  • Women must wear closed-toe shoes. I know peep-toes are cute in the summertime but this is a safety issue. Also, your toes make me want to gag. Do you want me to think about my aversion to your feet or your awesome resume?
  • Stop looking at sizes on summer clothes. Gained weight? Clothes at the store fitting differently and you wonder if you should go one size up? If you have to ask, the answer is yes.
  • Fabrics can be light, but watch out for wrinkles. Be careful with linens and rayon materials. Wrinkles can make you look sloppy and unkempt.
  • Skirts should fall slightly below the knee. This is about being practical. When you sit down, you don’t want to leave a mark. As a Human Resources professional and a human being, I want the back of your thighs touching your skirt — not a sweaty leather chair.

My best advice for you? Don’t dress for the interview until the last possible minute. Bring your clothes and change at a nearby McDonalds. Ask a friend with AC to drive you to the interview if you don’t have a car.

It’s hot out there, peeps. Do everything you can to appear calm, cool, and collected with a focus on the cool.

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