Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dressing for a Job Interview in Summer

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Dressing for a job interview on a hot and humid day presents some challenges. How to feel comfortable and stay cool and unflustered while still presenting a professional and polished image when the temperatures are up in the 90s and it is sticky and sweaty? Follow these tips on how to dress for your interview when the heat is on:
Select the right interview clothes
You still need to look professional and poised whatever the weather. For men choose an unlined light wool suit that is made from super fine wool with a smooth weave. Wool absorbs perspiration helping you to stay dry and cool. As well as been the coolest choice it doesn't wrinkle like rayon and linen blends. Match you suit with a light colored crisp cotton dress shirt.  Manufactured fabrics are less breathable and tend to trap body heat making you feel sticky and sweaty.

For women a light wool skirt and blazer is also a good option. A linen suit absorbs humidity but if you have to travel any distance to your interview it is likely to get creased. In this case try a silk-linen mix which is crease resistant and cool. A percentage of lycra in the fabric also keeps the wrinkles away.  A crisp cotton shirt in white always looks light and airy. Remember that the arteries in your neck generate a lot of heat so avoid scarves or heavy necklaces in summer. Keep the top button of your shirt open. If the position is less corporate you could select a sleeveless dress with a light, matching jacket.

Avoid a wilting hairdo
Long hair can make you feel and look very hot when it clings to your neck and face. Keep your hair away from your face and off your neck. Choose a hairdo that is simple, secure and cool. Avoid an elaborate hairdo that is likely to result in stray pieces that stick to your neck and face in the heat. A low chignon always looks professional.
If you have short hair make sure that you don't have a fringe that hangs across your face, making you feel hot and uncomfortable. For men, shave closely and have a neat hair cut before the interview.

When dressing for a job interview in the summer months lighten up on your makeup. A fresh summer look means less heavy makeup and more natural shades. Avoid heavy eyeliner and dark shades.

Don't overdo the scent
While your personal hygiene should be good in hot weather don't overdo the fragrance. It is extremely uncomfortable to be sitting in a closed interview room with a candidate who has too much perfume or cologne on.
Men can use aftershave instead of cologne. It is much milder smelling. Be aware of other strong cosmetic smells like hair lotion or gel. Women should use their perfume moderately and apply it a good couple of hours before the interview. Don't overpower the interviewer with just applied perfume or deodorant.

Travel lightly
Stay cool and comfortable on your way to the interview. Take off your jacket for the journey to your interview, this will keep perspiration down and stop you from becoming overheated. 
If you are wearing heels, take them off and wear a comfortable pair of flats on your journey. Wearing comfortable shoes avoids arriving with swollen and sweaty feet and just makes you feel cooler. Slip your heels back on just before you arrive at your interview. Sprinkling your feet with foot powder before putting on your heels can keep them cool and dry.

Give yourself extra time, about 15 to 20 minutes, to cool down properly before your interview is due to begin. Go to the lobby bathroom or a nearby restaurant and take a breather. Take a few moist toilettes and freshen up before you slip your jacket back on. Wash and dry your hands well, you don't want to subject the interviewer to a sweaty, damp handshake. Check your hair and makeup.
Feel and look cool for your summer job interview. Arriving hot and flustered will make you feel uncomfortable and unprepared for getting the job you want. For some good ideas on dressing for a job interview go to Job Interview Attire


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