You Look MAHVELOUS! Presenting Your Best Interview Self

By Karen McCarthy Billy Crystal

If you are a fan of vintage Saturday Night Live — and who isn’t? — you must remember Billy Crystal’s hilarious parody of Fernando Lamas. “It’s better to look good than to feel good,” Crystal gushed. Is there any truth to this? I say, maybe.

Hopefully, you are feeling confident about your upcoming interview. You know you are qualified. You have done your interview prep work, researching the company and the position thoroughly. But that is only part of your preparation. As the old adage goes, “We only have one chance to make a first impression.” It is important to look as good as you feel. However, we have all been in the position of snagging an interview with an outstanding cover letter, but feeling less than confident about meeting all of the job qualifications. In this situation, maybe Billy Crystal is right! Looking “mahvelous” for your interview can help you overcome your pre-interview jitters and feel more confident.

Finding and choosing the right interview outfit is a challenge. Your research on the company’s culture can help you decide what’s best. If you are in doubt about the company culture in terms of dress, always err on the side of being slightly overdressed rather than the opposite. Also, even though you may be an older job seeker, your style, just like your skills, needs to be current. Looking the part involves up-to-date clothes, hair, make-up (women only!) and shoes.

The UnderCover Recruiter’s handy top 12 list helps simplify clothing choices at Quality fabrics that are tailored and good shoes are always a must. However, depending on your current job status, the idea of spending a fortune on clothing may be daunting.

For the more frugally inclined — count me in! — I recommend the women’s consignment stores that have cropped up everywhere in these tough economic times. With a little searching, you can find gently used or like-new designer suits for a fraction of the price. With some help from your dry cleaner, these can look like new.

As most consignment stores cater to women, the frugal man may have to search thrift shops. Before you balk at this, I have seen beautiful men’s designer suits selling for between ten and twenty dollars. Once your thrift shop “find” has been dry cleaned and tailored to fit, your secret is safe. You may need to splurge on that fabulous neutral pair of interview shoes. Trot these out only for interviews to keep them in tip-top condition.

With the right physical and mental interview preparation, you will present your very best self and your confidence will shine through. You will most certainly look — and feel — MAHVELOUS!

One Reply to “You Look MAHVELOUS! Presenting Your Best Interview Self”

  1. PSGCNJ Contributor

    Karen, you’re so right. I’ve shopped at great consignment shops with gorgeous accessories – handbags, scarves, and even men’s ties that are newer than what I have in my closet! It’s low cost and high impact dressing for success.

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