by Makaria Sanders
Autumn… it’s the time of year when the leaves change colors, people get settled into the routine of the school year, and summer seems like a distant memory. As the events of the past few months in the sun fade, high school students begin to feel the pressure of upcoming job interviews, college previews, musical auditions, and sports tryouts. Each individual wants to appear calm, cool, collected, and qualified during these interactions. But how?
First impressions are extremely important. According to the Interview Guys, first impressions “go a long way in determining how well you fit in the company.” This applies to a lot of things in life, not just job interviews. It is important to remember whenever you meet people that your first interaction with them might delegate how they feel or what they think about you. One of the main hints about who you are is how you dress.
Now before you stop reading, let me explain. I know that this can seem to be a somewhat shallow approach to interview, but it’s really just a realistic approach. It matters to managers, bosses, vocal coaches, directors, etc. that you present yourself well. They want an employee or participant who pays attention to detail, who puts effort into their work, and who knows how to represent the company or group in a positive way. These three essential qualities translate into the way an employee conducts their business, so naturally they also affect how an employee dresses.
Dressing well for these initial interactions not only shows that you care, but it also helps you to feel more confident and better prepared, getting your interview, audition, or meeting off to a great start. Dorman High School choral director, Angela Lemere, notices how much more successful a student who dresses nicely for an audition than one who does not. “If they come dressed for success, then I feel that they are better able to give their very best… As to how they carry themselves, I do think it’s a complete package that affects the way that they sing or perform,” said Lemere. “It’s a win-win.”
So how fancy should you dress? Really, that depends on the position for which you are interviewing. If you are looking to be hired by a construction company or a manual labor job, you shouldn’t show up to that interview in a full tuxedo. Here is a kind of standard to go by in case you are wondering what outfit to choose.
Interestingly, studies show that color can also impact your impression during an interview. Vivian Giang writes in her article “The Best and Worst Colors To Wear To A Job Interview” that choosing blue or black elicits trust and sophistication and are the most popular interview colors. Other colors such as orange, while they may be creative and attention-getting colors, do not give off the impression that may be desired for most professional interviews.
Whatever color or outfit you end up wearing, remember that this is not the only thing that makes up your person. The confidence with which you speak and walk, or the firmness of your handshake, can end up being just as pivotal as your pair of shoes. These qualities, as well as an appropriate outfit, will help you make the best first impression possible.