I started my new job about eight weeks ago. I have had this post on my list for far longer than that. Somehow, it seems right that I am now employed when writing it though, as otherwise it would feel a bit like cheating.
It’s true what they say; your mind-set walking into something like an interview can make all the difference as to how you perform. But for me, it was never just about how much preparation I had done. It was about how I felt in myself. And without sounding vain, I knew that if I looked good, I felt good.
As such, I had a bit of a routine worked out for when I had an interview.
The first thing was the outfit. I needed formal, but also me. My choice was a Henry Holland maroon dress. It was loose and comfortable, yet it fitted me really well. It always felt nice wearing it and worked for the entire year – white sandals made it ideal for summer, but with black tights and black shoes, it was fine when the weather started drawing in. I paired it with a navy and white striped blazer from Marks and Spencers. I’ve had the blazer years, but it was an easy way of having a jacket that was smart, but not too formal. I needed my outfit to reflect my personality.
Once that was out of the way, I focused on how I felt in myself. Apart from an early night, that tended to mean a make-over. The first thing was always washing and straightening my hair – an easy way to look more presentable compared to it being a tangled mess.
The next step was moisturisers. I’m hopeless at remembering to use any on a day-to-day basis. But making the point always made my skin feel nice, which makes me feel better. I would use a face mask for the same reasons, making me feel fresh and bright.
I would always try and paint my nails so it looked like I had made the effort – even if no one notices, you know you have done so. But it was always a neutral colour, something subtle yet pretty. The last thing you want is to draw attention to things like that…unless your interview is with a beauty company.
I stuck to those rules when it came to make-up. The act of putting some on helped get me in the mind set for an interview because I rarely wear it around the house now. But I would always go subtle and neutral – enough to make it look like I cared but never enough to draw attention.
Some of these things might sound petty and insignificant. Who cares which colour you paint your nails when you have other preparation to do? But it meant that I felt good in myself, which improved my confidence and helped me present myself better.
Do you have any routines or regimes for surviving an interview? Let me know!