Dress For Success: What to Wear for an Interview

When searching for a job, it’s important to look the part. You want to dress like you’re professional, prepared, and capable – not like you just rolled out of bed. But, there are many different dress code policies in the business world, so how do you know whether or not to show up in the latest trends or go for the classic look? Follow these tips to pick out the best interview look that will get you noticed in a positive way.

Call the company first. To find out what an organization’s dress code is, contact the company before your interview to find out how you should dress for the occasion. Speak with the receptionist or your contact who helped set up your interview to get insight into what the firm’s culture is like and ask what employees typically wear to work. They might be able to share some insight to help you get started.

Flex your style level. When you find out what the dress code is, kick your wardrobe up a notch. For instance, if the dress code is business casual, make it a point to dress professional. Not sure what the difference is between these two? Find out here. For example in a professional environment, men and women interviewing for the job could wear a nice pantsuit. Just be observant of the organization’s everyday dress code. If employees typically wear jeans and a polo shirt, the executive look for your interview would be too much. Instead, go for slacks and nice shirt.

Choose classics over trends. It’s a great thing to express your personality through your clothing choices, but for a job interview it’s better to err on the side of caution. Stick to basic colors like white, blue, navy, grey, or black instead of bright neon colors. And it’s still OK to reflect your personal style, but do it in a subtle, tasteful way. Choose one element of your wardrobe to play up. Some examples are a bright tie, a hip handbag, or shoes with a modern cut. If your interview outfit is classic with a little punch of color, you still look very polished and professional. In addition, women should choose simple jewelry like diamond stud earrings and a nice necklace instead of wearing large hoop earrings or several attention grabbing necklaces.

An interview is a time for an employer to get to know about you, your skills, and your personality. You want to stand out from the competition, but not in a negative way.


What’s Around The Corner?

A number of organizations are wondering what hiring and human resources will look like in the future. With the beginning of the New Year this is a great time to consider predictions. The following is what we expect to see in 2014 and beyond.

Temporary is the new permanent. One thing that will remain constant in this year is uncertainty. Given the current unpredictability in the economy – such as the recent governmental shut-down, stock market fluctuations, and reluctance to move ahead with new initiatives, we foresee firms will likely continue to bring on temporary workers when help is needed.

Part-time hiring on the rise. While various factors will influence hiring trends, we anticipate employers will hire more part-time workers in 2014.

The way we work is changing.  Many firms are starting to re-evaluate their staffing needs and this development is particularly notable in the legal field.  Skilled attorneys, paralegals and other support staff are recognizing these new options and are entering the temporary and part-time labor pool. A number of clients feel that this is the best way to attract needed, skilled employees, and it provides greater opportunities for cost containment. In addition, bringing on an employee in a “try-before-you-buy” scenario can be a good way to assess whether a candidate is right for a position.

Demographic shifts are occurring.  An increasing number of individuals will look to contract, part-time work and other less-than-long-term employment. Here’s why: Younger workers are more mobile and receptive to contract staffing. Technology is providing the flexibility people need to use their skills in new ways.  Combine these and other factors with a firm’s focus on controlling expenses, and you have both the employment model as well as the needed workforce to propel growth.

Are you ready to see how temporary staffing solutions can benefit your firm’s objectives? If so, I would like to discuss your staffing requirements and help create a recruiting plan that will assist you in achieving them.

A Bright Spot

Hiring is exploding in one corner of the market: Temporary work. Contract employees and temps are proving their worth as the solution for flexibility in the workplace. There is greater appreciation for “just-in-time” personnel, since they are only compensated for the time worked and without the added financial burden of benefits costs. In addition, more and more, firms are opting to go with the “try-before-you-buy” method to fill openings.

With this option organizations can offer potential employees a trial period of sorts before bringing them on as full-time employees. There are few things more frustrating than hiring a candidate you think will be a rock star, only to realize two months later that they don’t quite ‘fit in’ with the rest of your team. Bringing on an employee in a temp or temp-to-hire scenario can be a great way to assess whether a candidate is right for a position.

As the jobs picture brightens, employers increasingly are turning to Legal Specialists’ pool of “flexible associates,” which enables firms to react quickly and strategically to meet the sudden changes that arise in business. We work as your partner to provide the highest quality contract and payrolling staff across a range of positions from entry-level to attorneys. Clients can expect top-notch, vetted and knowledgeable candidates recruited from a variety of sources.

Thank You Letters Say More Than Thank You

When a candidate sends a thank you letter after an interview it signals that they care about the position enough to follow up appropriately. Should an applicant who fails to send a thank you letter be rejected? No, in some instances a letter may not be considered necessary. However, with the number of job searching “how-to guides” available, it is surprising when a person, who wants the job skips this meaningful step.

As with all application materials, the focus should be on error-free and well-written copy. More than the resume, a letter is the one writing sample that is least likely to have been reviewed and edited by others. It’s a great way to assess a candidate’s writing style and competence. Well formed sentences without spelling or grammatical errors reflect an individual who pays attention to detail. Evidence that the person is enthusiastic about the position, the firm, and the staff members they met is also important. What the candidate has written can help determine if they place emphasis on the key areas that you consider essential.

Any follow up questions addressed in the letter should be answered and it is advisable that applicants understand the next step of the hiring process timeline. Of specific concern is the possibility of letting a qualified person lose interest because they lacked information that could have easily been supplied to them at this stage.

How Long Do You Let Them Hang Around?

At the time an employee appears to have lost interest in the job and begins to project complacency, unproductivity, and attempts to operate outside the organizational structure and rules, management must evaluate its part in the problem but not to be intimidated by these silent demands. There are times when a business relationship stops working and no matter how many attempts are made to recapture the magic… it doesn’t happen. Under these conditions, it is better to accept the disappointment and move ahead for the good of the person and, as well as the organization.

It’s That Time Again

There are a large number of firms that have very strict rules about company-sponsored social activities. But the sacred “summer picnics” seem to still be on the approved list of many organizations. Thinking back through the years, weren’t those fun! It was a way for everyone to see everybody else on the same awkward level.

The macho guys always made the rest envious of their net techniques. The macho women loved to out-macho the guys. The not-so-macho folks always made a brave effort not to let anyone see how uncomfortable they actually were trying to play shortstop… trying to field a softball that they couldn’t have… even in their teens.

Of course there were those wonderful contests to see who could pitch a horseshoe… be team captain… or, win at croquet. For the un-athletically inclined, one could always pray for it all to end… or at least for rain. Plenty of people thought the best way to make it through the day was to drink lots of beer… proof of being “cool.”

You betcha! Those were the good old days. Just think, we can all start planning to get together again soon for one of those outdoor parties. So, get out the equipment, your sweatpants and tees. Start practicing your physical prowess; it’s that time again – no matter how much you might hate it!

Keep It Simple

Effective leaders communicate in a way that everybody knows exactly what they mean. People want to understand details and yet the language some use in business seems designed to make that virtually impossible.

When you use a term that is not absolutely clear to someone, they will rarely question it for fear of appearing stupid. Human nature is such that we often don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. If anything unclear is said or written, chances are that no one will challenge it. Keep it simple and you’ll never have to worry about people misunderstanding your message.

Get to the point of the actual matter at hand, rather than beating around the bush. This helps you to stand out and influence others in your business. Next time you have something to communicate, think about how you could do it differently. How can you grab your audience’s attention in a straightforward yet compelling way?