You’ve likely heard the phrase “You only have one chance to make a first impression.”
That’s especially true when it comes to dressing for a job interview.
After spending hours refining your resume and countless weeks networking before landing the all-important interview, you’d be crazy to show up in skinny jeans and a tunic, right?
The same holds true for your accessories, specifically jewelry.
“You never want your outfit or accessories to distract the person you are meeting with,” says Julia Wertheim Schnable, owner of JWS Fashion Consulting. “The focus should be on your interview answers, not your accessories.”
But one person’s tasteful might be another one’s tasteless. The solution? While the company you are interviewing with should inform your choices, avoid crossing the line by following a few rules to ensure your look won’t overshadow your qualifications.
Wear A Watch
“When accessorizing for an interview, women should think about what their jewelry is saying,” says Kat Griffin, founder of Corporette. “I always tell my readers to wear a watch to an interview, for example, because it symbolizes responsibility, attention to detail, and respect for other people’s time.”
Griffin suggests a simple stainless steel timepiece or one with a classic leather band – both pair well with muted colors and a range of textures and materials from cotton to cashmere – and are appropriate for both business professional and business casual workplaces.
Stick With Simple
While you may be tempted to sport your favorite knotted tassel earrings or leopard-print cuff, steer clear of pieces that take attention away from what you are saying in your interview. Even the most experienced manager will have a hard time taking in your elevator pitch (LINK TO: https://apresgroup.com/dos-donts-crafting-effective-elevator-pitch/) if the baubles hanging from your ears and wrists are a distraction.
“Don’t overdo your look,” says Stella & Dot consultant Jamie Falvey. “When wearing accessories to an interview, stick to refined pieces or a subtle statement necklace.” You want your look to be polished and professional.”
That means stud earrings – silver, gold, pearl or diamond — and a pearl or pendant necklace for conservative industries and one statement piece for those looking to enter a more creative workplace. Stick to simple rings, avoiding mid-finger bands or pieces on multiple fingers.
“You can wear something interesting like a cool necklace,” says Fashion Stylist Evyan Metzner. “Just make sure it feels like something you would wear only during the day, not in the evening.”
And while chunky, layered bangles may be all the rage, in an interview they add an unwelcome cacophony. If you want to adorn your wrist, choose one bracelet, not all three, says Griffin. Once you’ve landed the job, you can tack on pieces that more represent your personality.
Chances are you will have some materials with you, including a laptop or iPad to show past work samples, a presentation you might have prepared for the interview, or a bound notebook for post-interview observations and followup information.
If this is the case, carry your things in a tasteful bag that will allow you to easily handle your added belongings.
“Make sure you have gone through your bag so you are organized and can find a pen and a small notepad,” says Metzner. “Do not overstuff your purse. If you need your computer or are bringing files, have a separate tote.”