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Katrina Szish: Interview In Style

Mark Twain got it right when he said, ?Clothes make the man.? And, of course, the woman -- especially when it comes to making that all-important first impression on a job interview.

Katrina Szish, a television personality, style expert and red carpet authority, says: ?Many people roll their eyes when the ?fashion? topic comes up, eschewing the import of appearance in favor of smarts and experience. But let?s be honest. Whether it?s fair or not, we all know that most first impressions are made before you utter a smart syllable or give a great handshake.

?A potential employer -- like most members of our society -- instantly sizes up a candidate the moment she walks through the door, based on appearance alone. Intentional or not, an indelible impression is immediately forged. This applies to your second and third interviews, too!

Szish had these tips for job seekers:

  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Besides the obvious importance of arriving well-groomed and generally pulled together -- neatly styled hair, subtle make-up, clean manicured nails, pressed clothing and polished shoes - the way you interpret the style aesthetic of the workplace is equally important. Consider the location, the current employees and the overall nature of the office. Do your homework and be aware of the company?s policies and expectations when it comes to dress code. When in doubt, it?s best to err on the formal side. Presenting yourself appropriately to a prospective employer is a sign of respect.
  • MAKE IT PERSONAL: Make your look your own. Is yellow your favorite color? Incorporate a subtle flourish by way of a scarf. Are you a stiletto lover at heart? No need to settle for kitten heels if a sleek pair of leather pumps will make you feel your best. It?s okay to be stylish, but avoid being tragically trendy. And, if fashion confounds you, pay extra attention to the fit of your clothes; then top your look off with a meaningful accessory, such as a vintage piece of jewelry or a favorite watch
  • TRUST YOUR TAILOR: Fit is crucial. Nothing looks sloppier than an outfit that is too big, too small, or ill fitting. Spending a few dollars on even the tiniest of alterations will yield priceless rewards.
  • CHOOSE ONE POWER PIECE: No need to avoid colors or patterns; a wisely chosen hue or print instantly beats the boardroom blahs. But, let one statement item do the talking, such as a tailored red jacket or a printed silk bow blouse.
  • FACE FACTS: Wear something that subtly draws attention to your face and eyes (this works as an extra bonus if your figure isn?t flawless). A flattering neckline, an eye-enhancing color or elegant earrings will ensure that the focus is on you, not just your outfit. Dress to impress, not to distract.
  • PUT IT ON AND FORGET IT: The perfect outfit is one that you stop thinking about the moment you put it on. Comfort is key. Binding belts, skirts that ride up and straps that slip off shoulders will divert your attention from the task at hand.