This blog was written by Ian Michael Crumm, a student at Drexel University and friend of Kaitlyn Smith - our Campus Ambassador at Drexel. He is a Communications major with an emphasis in Public Relations and a passion for fashion. You can follow him on Twitter: @IanMCrumm.
There are so many blog posts out there about what women should wear to an interview. Where is the advice for the guys? Searching the web I found a few, but the dudes do not have nearly as many tips to choose from as the ladies.
At my current internship at The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, I have the amazing opportunity to interview the candidates who will fill my position as event assistant in a few months. Below are my observations. They can be for both male or female, but I'll include a few style tips for the guys.
1) Show you've done your research.
With a few of the interviews, I noticed that some of the candidates did not understand the position they were applying for. Why go to an interview that is not relevant to what you want to be doing after graduation? 1) you might want to learn about a different field you are curious about or 2) you thought you wanted to be in a certain field but failed to do research and are still clueless as to the position you are asking to fill. That does not make sense. Know the position you are vying to fill before going on the interview.
2) Ask questions.
Sometimes interviews seem more like a conversation where dialogue flows easily between both parties. Sometimes interviews are very strict when they interviewer asks the interviewee question after question and nothing else. Whether your next interview is more like the former or the latter, you should have a list of your own questions to ask. Asking questions shows preparedness, interest, and assertiveness; all great traits to elicit during an interview.
3) Tailor your suit.
Nothing looks worse than when a candidate walks into a interview with droopy pants and slouchy shoulders. When you purchase your interview attire, look for flattering fits that hug your body instead of hang off of it. If you can't find a well-fitting suit or suit separates, invest in your look and pay a tailor to alter the pieces. It may seem like a waste of money if you've never paid a tailor. However, the difference will make you more confident and that trait will show when you speak to others.
4) Bring a portfolio case.
When interviewing a few candidates, I noticed some did not carry a portfolio. Instead they brought a file folder to hold their resumes and writing samples. Purchasing a waxed canvas piece, better yet a leather portfolio case, to house those documents shows you mean business. I invested in a nice leather one to use for this purpose and receive tons of compliments on how nice of an addition it is to my professional outfits. Go the extra mile and buy that document holder.
5) The details.
Two points I feel really make the difference when interviewing are expressing confidence and writing thank you notes. These details deal with style as well. Show confidence by rocking a well tailored suit, strongly carrying a nice portfolio and mixing the other elements of your outfit well. Clothes make a major impact when meeting someone. Show them you care how you are perceived. After impressing everyone you interview with, impress them even more by sending a personalized thank you note. Old fashioned and hand-written. Not email. You can either buy a nice pack of stationary at a local drug store or a stationary store or really impress by purchasing custom stationary; it is worth the investment. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time and wish them well.
There you have it. Tips for an interview. Some apply to both men and women. Some are just for the guys. Good impressions take both personality and what you wear. Make sure you aren't missing out on an opportunity by dressing poorly!