Dressing to impress at aviation interviews

In the good old days, when it came to interview it was a case of getting suited and booted and looking the most dapper or the smartest possible.  Today, believe it or not, it’s possible to over-dress for interview.  So, getting the balance right in 2015 is much trickier than it was even a decade ago.  Agreed, in certain circles, you’ll still be expected to arrive in tailored attire with starched collar and cuffs (both men and women), but in some settings this approach is considered passé and quite simply inappropriate.  So what do you need to do today to dress to impress at your aviation interview?

  1. Look clean. It sounds almost insulting to say, but looking clean is an essential part of looking motivated and professional.  Freshly showered, with newly washed hair and clothes that have either come pretty much straight from the washing machine or dry cleaner’s is an absolute must.  Polished shoes also are expected and not too tough to achieve.

  2. Don’t go overboard with smelly stuff or make up. Quite often interviews take place in smallish rooms with a good number of interviewers plus a range of interviewees that come and go throughout the period of the interviews.  If everyone involved attends or arrives perfumed to the hilt, the mix of fragrances can cause the atmosphere to end up quite unpleasant, so while you should of course lightly mist yourself with your preferred perfume, don’t be tempted to go overboard.  The same applies for make up.  In most cases, less is more and an appealing, natural look normally wins hands down over a thick layer of bold colours.

  3. Make the most of your natural assets. Men and women, whether you have locks of luscious hair or are bald, should pay attention to their hair.  A good cut and a fresh blow dry for women is a great idea.  If you’re a guy who normally sports a number 1 clip, then make sure you’ve had a recent trim for your interview.  Being clean-shaven is ideal, but if you prefer stubble, make sure it’s neatly trimmed too.  Needless to say, nails need to be well manicured, clean and tidy.

  4. Get the look as right as you can.

    1. Smart or casual? This is one of the toughest questions you’ll face when it comes to deciding what to wear to impress at interview.  The bottom line is that certain jobs require you to be suited and booted and others don’t.  The best way to find out what would be most appropriate on the day is to carry out your fair share of research.  Look online; ask the advice of anyone you know in the organisation and if necessary do a bit of snooping.  If you’re within easy travelling distance of the company who’s invited you to interview, take time to stand outside at lunch-time or clocking off time to do a bit of market research into what people are wearing.  If everyone is leaving the building in jeans and open neck shirts, it’s sure that if you arrive at interview in a suit and tie, you’re going to look a bit out of place.

    2. Focus on the top half. While your whole body will be visible during interview, in most instances, it’s the top half that people focus on.  Whether you decide to wear a jacket or interview in shirt-sleeves, make sure the colour does you justice and that the whole look screams well laundered and quality.  Be wary of anything that’s too tight and might gape when you sit down.  If you dig something out of your wardrobe to save you on the day, try it on well in advance to make sure it hasn’t suffered a bit of wardrobe shrinkage over the years (ie.  you’ve got gradually a bit bigger, but don’t want to admit it!).

    3. Take care of the bottom half. Particularly important for ladies, but also worthy of thought for guys, your bottom half might be less noticeable in an interview situation, but it’s still worthy of your attention nonetheless.  For ladies, make sure skirts aren’t so short that they reveal more than you want them to when you sit down and for men, make sure that your trousers are well pressed and the right length, exposing a classy looking sock if possible (but certainly not unmatched sport socks!).

    4. Choosing the right shoes. You might be tempted to buy new shoes for your interview.  If that’s the case, make sure that the soles aren’t so slippery that you arrive at your interview position on your bottom.  For ladies also make sure that if heels are high, they’re not so high that you teeter into the room with a look of fear all over your face.  If you choose to wear shoes that you have in your wardrobe already, make sure they are in a good state of repair and are well polished.

  5. Accessorise. The right accessories can turn a simple, uninspiring outfit into something extraordinary.  Take time to choose the right jewelery, bags and even pens to add a real touch of class to a simple outfit and to make a quiet, but powerful statement.

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