The Plus Size Job Interview Secret Weapon
Posted by Jen Anderson on
Is it an impressive briefcase? Eyeglasses? Magic earrings that hypnotize people into giving you job offers? Nah. It's a blazer. No, wait! Come back! Yes, I know it's the 21st century. But the more things change, the more you still need a blazer. Let me 'splain.
Wearing a blazer can put you in the right mindset for a job interview.
A few stages of the job interview process could involve video chats. The latest thing is to record a video of yourself answering a set of questions. Which can be weird and disconcerting for those of us who are not YouTube stars. Or for those of us with pets and small children wandering into the room.
The last thing you need is to try on half the clothes in your closet before you get down to the actual job interview. At times like this, you want to turn to your reliable blazer.
Slipping on a blazer can make you look professional and put together in an instant.
Ducking out on your lunch hour for a job interview? If you wear a suit to a casual office, everyone's going to know you're looking for a new job. Slip on a blazer a block from the office and you'll be job interview ready.
Blazers are versatile.
What you wear with the blazer can vary according to the interviewing company's dress code. For a casual company, you could go with pants and a top. For a hip, trendy startup, jeans and t-shirt under your blazer may be the perfect look. For a more formal company, go with pants or a skirt plus a blouse/button-down top.
Interviewers expect to see you in a blazer.
A big part of the job interview process is dictated by unspoken rules. Thank you emails, handwritten thank you notes, firm (but not too firm) handshakes - there are a lot of things you need to get right. Wearing a blazer sends the subconscious signal that you're there to work.
OK, zookeeper. You shouldn't wear a blazer to interview as a zookeeper. But if you're applying for an administrative position at a zoo, or even ticket-taking or souvenir-selling, a blazer makes sense.
A well-fitting blazer doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Vikki Vi's Blazer and Box Blazer are designed with a slightly relaxed fit. Not so relaxed that they're sloppy, but relaxed enough to look nice even they're not tailored to your exact measurements.
Fit is critical because poorly fitting job interview clothes make it look like you don't pay attention to details. Properly-fitting clothes convey the message that you have your act together. And they're not distracting so you can focus on the interview.
You'll have other opportunities to wear a blazer.
Even if you don't regularly wear a blazer at work, it'll still come in handy. You'll be glad you have that blazer when going to Important meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and networking events. And you'll be delighted to have a blazer when that work from home conference call turns out to be a video chat and you have mere minutes to cast aside your bathrobe.
Show them you're more than just a snappy dresser.
A blazer isn't going to make up for a bad resume and lack of skills. But the most important thing about a job interview outfit is that it should make you look smart, and a blazer can do a great job of that - even more than a pair of eyeglasses you don't really need.
One other tip I would offer…Blue, especially Navy Blue, is a color that denotes trust and confidence. It is the best color to wear when embarking on something that matters, like an interview. As an Expert Witness, a navy blue blazer is the color and garment I always wear to court.
As the owner of a small manufacturing company, let me reinforce the points Jen made. Although we are a casual office, if someone wants to come to work for us, they better present a professional appearance. There is nothing like a blazer to ensure that you have something immediately to hand to make whatever you have on look more professional. And, just how do you know what kind of office it is likely to be, particularly when you are creating a video or interviewing via FaceTime or other electronic medium? It is always wise to err on the side of professionalism. One caveat: keep jewelry to a minimum. For a job interview the simpler the better. Limit yourself to a pair of small gold or silver earrings, a simple chain or necklace and no more than one ring per hand. Never wear a bracelet to a job interview, especially one that makes noise or distracts the eye. Keep your blazer and your interview jewelry available at hand. You never know when that call coming in just might be about your perfect job!