A couple months ago I was interviewed for a spot on Monster.com about what aging men should do to appear competitive in the job market. Published late last week, I’m grateful for the exposure the piece provided. Since the article also included information about sprucing up the resume and using social media sites, the author could never have included all the tips and tricks I shared with her.
The tips the author did cover in the article are:
• Update your interviewing clothes if you haven’t been shopping in a while
• Maintain a modern hairstyle and visit a hair stylist before that interview
• Boost your confidence and mental acuity through physical fitness
I thought I’d give you a few more tips to help you score that job.
Use clothing to power you up or power you down.
The overall effect of your clothing and accessories’ style, fit, and color has an effect on your interviewer. You want to ensure it’s the right effect. Are you known as a go-getter? The right outfit will help support that attitude. But if the position you seek is executive level, you may have to power down the look that conveys you’re a doer deep down so you can show up to the interview looking like a director. So for instance, lots of color and pattern appears active to the eye and is emblematic of an active personality. But opting for an interview outfit with few colors directs the focus onto you and shows you as a person in control.
If you’re the quieter type, powering up your look is a great way to boost your self-confidence. Do a practice interview in a shirt and khakis and then put on your interview suit and accessories and get feedback about how you sound. Undoubtedly you’ll hear that you sounded better when you looked better. Why? Most likely, subconsciously, you felt better. Popping your outfit with a color accenting your eye or red skin tone, along with wearing a garment with strong a strong angular line will give you a bolder, more energetic appearance.
Visit your tailor if your clothing doesn’t fit.
Let’s face it. Not all of us have fared so well economically lately. As tempting as it is to just purchase new clothing for the job interview, it’s not always practical. So if your cash receivables are as tight as the fit of your suit pants, a visit to the tailor may ease the stress of unemployment and you’ll feel better at the interview, too.
Maybe you don’t wear a suit so often. One of the worst effects of wearing a garment you’re unfamiliar with is wearing one that’s not familiar with you either. By making sure it fits well before you need to wear it, you’ll sit properly and comfortably during the interview and you won’t be fidgeting over your clothes or wondering just how much your stomach protruded over the waistline of your trousers.
Don’t try to compete on looks with the 20-somethings.
Hey, your train left the station some time ago. Don’t get off track by looking back at what should have been because you notice a newer locomotive leaving the garage.
Looking age appropriate, while maintaining a modern, up-to-date style, is so important. You don’t want to be typecast as being ‘older,’ which happens when your clothing and hairstyle is outmoded. This points to the symbiotic relationship between you and your clothes. Old clothes equal an old “you.” New clothes equal a new “you.” So at the very least get your old clothes updated, as I all ready suggested.
If you do act on my advice and go on the hunt for something new, be sure it’s updated to reflect who you are today, not who you once were, or who you wish you could once again be. Avoid looking collegiate to appear younger. ‘Over compensating’ is a poor decision. Don’t dress for the job you’ve presently got or the job you’ve just had. Move forward in your mind and manifest it through your style.
Designing and managing your image is the secret science to your success.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps professional men and corporate workgroups create effective visual brands. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.