‘Tis the season of post holiday summer sales, blazing temperatures and more job openings. What does that mean? Job seekers must find the perfect balance of looking professional and fresh for interviews during the hot Australian summer. Let's be honest: interviews are all about first impressions, and showing up to one hot, red-faced and sweating is the last thing you want a potential employer or a recruiter to see. Although I am now a recruitment consultant, my first job was in retail management at America's famous department store, Bloomingdale's, where I learned to appreciate the transformational power of clothes. So to help both men and women looking chic in the heat, I have created these essential tips!
- Keep it light in both fabric and colour, but don't wear a white dress or suit – it is considered less serious and looks too casual.
- Keep your suit or blazer darker than your blouse or dress – it will make your outfit pop more.
- Don’t be afraid to wear a sharp, tailored dress with a nice jacket (unlined will keep you cooler!).
- Keep dresses and skirts knee length – leave those maxi dresses and shorts for the weekends and beach!
- Nothing is more uncomfortable than wearing stockings in blazing heat, so feel free to leave that hosiery at home!
- Closed toe shoes. Always. Save those strappy sandals for the beach. Buy a nice pair of tan heels for the summer months – they will go with everything and make your legs look long and lean!
- Avoid wearing a lot of jewellery – keep it simple by pairing your outfit with a statement necklace, earrings, or bracelet (but not all together!)
- Avoid 'it' bags, especially if they’re flashy and covered in hardware. Stick to a larger bag to fit all the necessities, like a leather tote in a solid, classic colour.
Hair and makeup:
- Keep your hair neat and polished. To avoid frizz in the summer heat, put your hair in a polished ponytail or bun – it will keep you cooler.
- Keep makeup light and tasteful. Wear waterproof mascara/eyeliner – it will prevent smudges from sweat!
- Since suits are required, wear either light weight wool or cotton suits in grey or navy. NOT BLACK.
- To add a pop of colour for summer, slip on a bright coloured silk tie or one with a tiny understated print.
- Don't wear short-sleeve dress shirts. Just don't.
- Wearing an undershirt/singlet under your dress shirt helps hide sweat!
- For footwear, invest in some leather dress shoes; they will breathe more.
- Carry a proper brown or black structured leather briefcase with handles. DO NOT bring a backpack, messenger bag, or duffel bag.
- For hair, leave that messy, Bondi top knot at home! Keep it well kept.
- As for any interview, but especially in the hot summer months, arrive early! This will give you adequate time to cool down, rehydrate and freshen up.
- Bring a travel-sized deodorant and hair product to combat any body odour or hair issues.
- Make sure your outfit is wrinkle free and is tailored appropriately.
- Cover up any tattoos.
- Even though summer is the time of year for laid back outfits, sandals and singlets, don’t forget to always dress corporately for interviews!
- Before you arrive in reception, put on your blazer, suit jacket or tie to stay fresh.
- Wear closed toe shoes! You can always commute to the interview in thongs or sandals, but have a large, structured bag where you can store them for when you arrive.
- Wear lighter coloured suits, such as grey or navy, and solid, light coloured dress shirts – it will help you stay cooler.