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How to dress for an interview

As if figuring out what to wear in the morning isn’t stressful enough, deciding what to wear to an interview can be seen as added pressure. As soon as you walk into the interview room, before you even get a chance to speak, your outfit contributes to the first impression you leave on the interviewer. That being said, you want to dress to impress! To prevent any last-minute panicking, here are some interview outfit ideas:

Option 1 –  The classic blazer

When I think of interviews, the first thing that comes to my mind is a blazer. Not only can you wear a blazer for numerous occasions, but you can pair it with many different outfits –  with a button down, a blouse, and even a dress. Of course, you don’t need to stick with the traditional black coloured blazer, adding a pop of colour makes things fun and can add a bit to your personality.

Option 2 –  The blouse and dress pants/pencil skirt

Blouses in general, are a very elegant and professional spin to just a normal shirt because they act as the foundation for a stylish, layered look. As they come in different cuts and styles, you don’t have to worry about not finding one that suits you. This versatile top can be paired with either dress pants or some skirt (pencil skirts would be the most professional).

Option 3 –The statement dress

Although you want your interview look to be professional, there is nothing wrong with wearing a dress, especially if it makes you feel confident. With a statement dress, you don’t necessary need to add a jewelry or other accessories because the dress speaks for itself. Make sure, however, that both the neckline and hemline are appropriate because you’re there for an interview with a potential employer, not a night out with your friends.

At GEMinar Three: Getting Your Goals, the panelist Natasha Zdravkovic, Recruitment Consultant at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), said that an important tip is to make sure what you’re wearing is clean: “You want to look like you put effort and care into your outfit because it will project how you feel about the job.”

A little word of advice from Susan Baxter, Vice Chairman for RBC Wealth Management, is that when dressing for an interview, “you should wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident.” At the end of the day, if you put too much stress on what you’re going to wear you’ll miss out on the real importance: the actual interview.

Remember: the best thing you can wear is your confidence. So, make sure to smile and let your personality shine through, no matter what you wear.

How To Get Your Dream Summer Job

GEMinar 6 was all about the prepping for interviews and landing the job. It was hosted by GEM mentor Jenna Claires, who gave a wonderful presentation, which involved many activities like; drawing your interview outfit, and interview role play. This served by giving us a better understanding of the situations, and the activities that will help us remember the tips for longer.

We might as well make use of the two months we have off from school to get a summer job, and work experience. The question is, how do you get a job, when you have little work experience? Getting a job can take months of preparation, and requires a lot of attention to the smallest of details. Everything from the shoes you wear to an interview, and to the last line on your resume says something about you.

Resume and cover letters: One of the first things you’ll need to get a job, is a good resume. A good resume will contain a brief description highlighting your objective and the skills you can use to achieve it. It also shows the employer what you have to offer and should be unique as it is at the top of the page.

First Impressions: Arrive on time, and be prepared. Bring a pen, and a note-pad, a portfolio of your work, and a list of your references. Also give a firm handshake, and maintain an appropriate level of eye-contact.

Formalities: It’s important to send a Thank-you letter or e-mail, to your interviewer. Thank them for their time, and when they do receive your letter or e-mail, they will be reminded of you again.

Interview Outfit: Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for the interview. It may even help if you have your outfit picked out and ironed beforehand. Stick to neutral coloured, and modest clothes. Perfume is not recommended, but deodorant is.

Prepare for the Interview: Have someone ask you mock questions that you have to answer on the spot. This way you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of questions to expect, and how to respond under pressure.

If you’re planning on getting a summer job, it is in your best interest to get started as soon as possible. Use apps like the Workin App, and check job postings on LinkedIn, Jobposting.ca, and Youth Employment Services.

AND BIG THANK-YOU to Marc Anthony for the hair product SWAG! We’ll look and smell good at our interviews!

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl.