Dressing Well for a Job Interview

There are few occasions more important than impressing a prospective employer. Whether you’re making a career change or simply interviewing for a transfer internally, you want to present yourself in the most flattering, professional light. Taking time to get this right early in your interview preparations will allow you to spend mental energy on the important stuff – like what you’re going to say and what you’re going to ask, instead of fretting about what to wear.

 

Here are a few tips for dressing for a job interview:

  • Always follow the company dress code. Find out whether it’s formal or casual by observing employees arriving for work.
  • Plan to dress slightly better than an employee would there. At least, your clothes and shoes should be neat & clean and don’t forget to style your hair too.
  • If you have body art/tattoos, cover them up until you know whether they are acceptable in that workplace.
  • For women: makeup should be subtle and nails with reasonable length.
  • Remember, dress as you belong to that company.

From there, ask yourself a few questions before laying out your outfit:

Should I wear a suit? In many industries, it’s a good idea to wear a suit for a job interview. Especially for a conservative business. For example, if you’re applying for a job in an investment firm, go with a navy blue or dark gray suit.

What if the company I’m applying to is dressing more casual? It’s a good idea to match your interview attire to the prospective job. If you are applying for a job working on a warehouse floor, you will look out of place wearing a formal suit. Keeping that in mind, dress a bit better than you would for a regular workday there, and always ensure that clothing is cleaned and pressed as appropriate.

With any job interviews, if you’re unsure of what the dress code is – a best practice is to dress up the extra notch. It’s better to look polished than to look too casual. If you’re still unsure, your prospective employers’ HR department should be able to help you. Ask them what their staff wear in the office each day; such preparation, to most companies, will make you stand out for being prepared!

Becoming Culturally-Fluent Before Your Business Trip

For many of us, there comes the point where you need to travel internationally to conduct business. Whether your travels will be for research, sales meetings, conferences, or to check in on partners and suppliers – you should jump to take advantage of the opportunity. International travel can teach us a lot about ourselves, and the planning ahead for the travel is often a fantastic exercise in learning and creative thinking.

Here are a few tips to consider when planning for (and during) your visit.

 

  1. Be flexible and respectful. Consider your hosts’ needs and expectations, and be as open minded as possible. Be careful not to make a constant comparison with your home country. For example, if you are in Italy and order a coffee, be flexible with the cup size that is returned to you (if it’s not enough after drinking it, you may ask for a second cup).
  2. Do not take things personally. Some things people do may be frustrating to you, but try to put yourself in their shoes. An example of this is when you speak with someone, and she does not look back at you, remember that in some cultures this is not a sign of disrespect – it’s their cultural norm.
  3. Be patient. Some country’s foods and customs may be new to you, but “new” doesn’t mean it’s being done “wrong.” Try to eat a portion of the meal that you’ve never tried before, just for the experience. Try not to talk about business while you’re at the dining table; save it for another conversation.
  4. Strive to learn language basics as a sign of respect. If English is not predominantly spoken where you’re headed, try to learn a handful of basics as a sign of respect. “Good morning” and “Good evening,” “Hello,” “How are you,” “Thank you,” “Yes,” “No” and “Please” are most important.
  5. Be a good listener. Your host or colleague will hopefully explain the way things are done early in your visit. Listen closely and openly, and be sure to ask lots of thoughtful questions!
  6. Know that your perceptions are relative, not absolute. You should try to avoid stereotyping and remember that the way you view an experience is always colored by your own upbringing and culture. Try to eat new foods when they are offered to you. Try to go to the restroom when there is one (in case it won’t be convenient again for some time). Finally, be sure to keep your smartphone use to a minimum as much as possible, enjoying the moments and being present in the fascinating space that you’re in!

Tips for Men Wearing Shorts in Summer

Finally, Summer is upon us. For adult men, summer shots often create questions bigger than “should I wear a sweater over this” and “will I be warm enough in shorts, or should I wear jeans?” For many, a casual-yet-styled summer look creates conflict between being too casual and just “too much.”

Here are a few tips that have worked well with guys we’ve worked.

Tip 1:

Shorts do not belong in any formal setting or professional office unless you are in the Bahamas. Shorts should only be used for outdoor functions, vacations, beaches, or weekend road trip.

Tip 2:

Do not wear visible socks with shorts unless they are part of a uniform or you are headed to the gym.

Tip 3:

Beware of the color of your underwear and pattern if you are wearing white or light-colored shorts. Blues, reds, and purples often show through and create unwanted distractions!

Tip 4:

Avoid wearing athletic shorts, biking shorts, or anything beyond their intended function.

Tip 5:

The shorts length you choose should be based on your body and proportions. The length is better, not shorter than an inch above the knee.

 

What do you think? How do you style the guys in your life for summer? Let us know…

Timeliness Etiquette

Are you the kind of friend who shows up 5-10 minutes late to everything?

 

The incredible array of features and apps available on our smartphones have made it easy to schedule every minute in our days. And yet, we hear frequently from our clients how frustrating it is when guests, dates or colleagues seem to be late to just about everything.

 

The most important consideration in keeping a realistic schedule is avoiding overcommitting in the first place, and allowing extra time between appointments. Knowing that modern life doesn’t always accommodate this, consider these guidelines to manage expectations when you do need to be late:

 

  • Cocktail party or reception: 15-30 minutes late is acceptable, because these are designed for guests to come and go
  • Dinner party: Try to be extremely prompt. If you are more than 15 minutes late, that is rude, unless you know your host always runs late. But it can be awkward to arrive early, too
  • Business meeting or luncheon: arrive 5 minutes early, always. Time is money, and we shouldn’t waste each other’s money
  • Dinner date: In a restaurant, it’s disrespectful to arrive more than 5 minutes late. A bar or lounge may allow for a few added minutes, but keep in mind your date may not be seated until you arrive
  • Screenings, movies or live performances: Try to arrive at least 10-20 minutes before the show starts, especially if you do not have tickets in advance or assigned seating. If it’s a large venue or arena you’ve not been to, allow an extra 10 minutes to find your way around
  • Job interviews: You should always be on time, and ideally 5-10 minutes early for an interview. Try to allow extra time at the end of your scheduled interview in case there is time for a brief tour, conversations with other team members, etc.
  • Conference call: With virtual meetings, try to ‘arrive’ within 2-3 minutes of the start time. When everyone arrives on time and there is a clear purpose for the call, business can be taken care of and the call can often wrap quickly

 

The great thing about our constant connectivity is how easy it is to reach out to someone when you’re running late. If you’ll be more than 5 minutes late, send a quick text. If you anticipate being more than 10 minutes late to something, call the person with a brief explanation and offer the chance to reschedule, if appropriate. This act of respecting others’ time will reduce annoyance and maintain good relations.

 

What do you think? How do you manage your schedule? Let us know …..

Traveling in Groups

Recently, we posted etiquette and travel tips to consider before visiting museums. Today, we’re revisiting the topic with an added twist: how can you best travel in groups? While written for an intended reader who is in a couple, most of these tips could apply to any individual or small group of travelers.

 

Traveling in groups with people you enjoy can, often times, be a delightful experience. Any extended period spent with other couples, families or friends can also pose challenges. Here are a few tips to consider while traveling in groups:

 

 

  1. Identify the top 3 must-do things on your trip, together. If it’s an extended trip with multiple days/destinations, you may want to identify this each day. This will help you figure out the most efficient routes for all parties, so everyone gets to see and do what they desire.
  2. Walk on the right or left – not both! When your group walks together, try to walk in single or double file, and pick a side of the sidewalk or path (but don’t take up the whole street – and don’t hold hands). Remember, also, that your pace on vacation may be slower than locals who are moving quickly; letting people get around you is key.
  3. Learn basics of the local language. If you’re traveling to a country where your native language isn’t spoken, try to learn basics in the language you’re planning to inhabit. Essentials include ‘hello,’ ‘good day,’ ‘where is the restroom?’ ‘do you speak English?,’ and ‘thank you’. Basics show respect to native-speakers, and will take you far when you need directions or other help in a rush! You may also consider hiring a guide to help you get around easily.
  4. Discuss meal basics beforehand. Decide how you want to split bills; things can get complicated in larger groups, especially if some travelers order drinks and desserts and others don’t. Learn tipping customs in advance, too, and at buffets, take a small plate at a time. You can always go back for seconds, but restaurants can’t put back uneaten food.
  5. Take a day to yourself if you need. Sometimes, this is the best thing on a trip with too much noise and hustle. Lie by the pool, go for a hike by yourself, or just spend an afternoon in bed with a book. This can do wonders for helping you to appreciate your fellow travelers the next morning.

 

Have you traveled with other couples, or with an entire family? What tips can you share for traveling together?

 

Post your comments below! Or at www.nycimageconsultantacademy.com

Proper Etiquette in Museums

Recent travels have kept us thinking about client stories and challenges regarding dress, courtesies and more while visiting other places. This month, we’re looking at a few key considerations when traveling.

 

If your next vacation plans have you taking a historical journey, you’ll likely spend time in at least a few museums. Here are 5 tips we encourage our client-travelers to consider, if of course they’re of the museum-visiting variety.

 

  1. Keep your voice down. Acoustics in older buildings can make sounds carry further than normal, and even if you think you’re in a room alone – chances are, there are other visitors in earshot. If you must chat: whisper, or step outside or over to a stairwell.
  2. Be mindful of your image. Comfort is key, but shorts/flip-flops/miniskirts should be avoided while visiting working churches and cathedrals.
  3. Plan ahead. Many museums contain multiple floors and exhibits; trying to see it all in one session (while adding the stresses of traveling) can be too much. Pick your top 2 or 3 exhibits; visit those first, then break before attempting to see more.
  4. Consider your children’s ages. If your child/grandchild is under 5 years old, museums can be a difficult place. Let’s face it: kids can be loud (crying and wining is distressing to many), plus kids under 5 don’t often appreciate what they’re seeing. Call ahead to see if your museum of interest has a playroom, childcare, or a kids’ exhibit.
  5. Always bring layers and a personal folding fan; you’ll need both. Museums in Europe are often lacking in central air conditioning, and museums in North and Central America usually have too much air conditioning. You don’t want your visit ruined because you’re unbearably cold or hot.

 

Being respectful while visiting important institutions is always the golden rule in any cultural establishment. Keeping the aforementioned tips in mind will help you be mindful and comfortable in just about any museum or culturally relevant place of learning.

 

What’s your favorite memory from visiting a museum? What do you wear when you visit a museum?

 

Post your comments below!

Dressing ‘Right’ For Your Kids’ Sporting Events

For those of us with kids, life is full of running around, literally. Many of our clients’ time is often spent cheering on little loved ones at sporting events, indoors or out, and sometimes there are questions about the best dress for these options. We’ve put together some wardrobe ideas to help prepare you to be comfortable, fashionable, rearing to get your CHEER on!

Courtesy of moms.popsugar

 

Outdoor Ideas: Viewing the game from the sidelines of a field

 

  1. SPF protection is a must. Avoid getting awkward sunburns by lathering on a high SPF sunscreen. Grab your hat – baseball or large-brimmed – for extra coverage.
  2. Wear sunglasses. Prevent the pain of squinting when trying to make out your favorite player on the field. Large lenses ward off the development of fine lines around your eyes.
  3. Layer up and down. Try a linen shirt (great for hot weather) with a jean jacket and scarf. Or go for a cotton T-shirt under a cotton long-sleeved cardigan and a blazer. Whether the sun is rising or falling, you’ll be set to shed or pull on your layers accordingly. A colorful flannel can be dressed up with the right scarf, too, or dressed down by tying it around the waist for an added flair (or even as a cushion on uncomfortable bleachers).
  4. Avoid Heels. Don’t irrigate the field by ruining your favorite heels or heeled boot. Wear flat boots, clogs or your great-looking sneaker.
  5. The multi-purpose blanket. Need a cushion for those hard, cold bleachers? Want to sit down on the damp grass but don’t want a wet bottom? Does the sun set too soon and you find yourself needing an extra layer of warmth? The handy dandy blanket that you keep stored in the trunk of your car can be a lifesaver. Don’t leave home without it.
  6. Waterproof ponchos to the rescue! When you’re scheduled for spring games played under unpredictable skies, make sure you haven’t forgotten your raingear. Nothing should get in the way of you watching your kid hitting a game-winning home run!

 

Indoor Ideas: Watching the game from the bleachers

 

  1. Put on your socks. For those expansive, chilly arenas, make sure you have warm socks underneath your pants or leggings. Add a tall boot for more warmth. Cold feet leads to a cold body, and that can quickly lead to grumpiness.
  2. Layer scarves. Have a scarf around your neck that you can easily put on or take off as needed.
  3. Keep those fingers warm. Cashmere gloves (or at least fingerless gloves) will ward off the chill. Important Note: Wearing gloves will muffle your clapping. Remove them and stuff them in pockets during the thrilling moments.
  4. Pick up a microfiber undergarment. Keeping your torso warm goes a long way to feeling comfortable in overly air-conditioned buildings. For extra warmth, make sure that the layer closest to your skin is long enough to cover your behind when you sit down.
  5. Get ready to get hot. While some are air conditioned, other arenas can get hot and stuffy. Make sure your lightest layers are cute and appropriate in case you end up taking off your sweater or jacket.

 

General best looks for cheering success

  1. Donning your team’s colors. You’ll feel more involved in the game when you sport your team’s colors. Pair them with neutrals so they’ll stand out.
  2. Coat checks– nah. Don’t bring more than you need to venues where coat checks aren’t available. You don’t want to be holding extra stuff in your lap or putting items on the floor where they can get wet or dirty.
  3. Pick up a small crossbody bag. You’ll be able to jump up and cheer and know it is securely on you at all times.
  4. “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” This is a sports motto one can borrow from the hit TV series Friday Night Lights. Cheering with this in mind will help you be the best spectator you can be.

 

If nothing else, remember to dress with stylish comfort so that you can put all your focus on the game once play begins. Have other tips and tricks that help you dress appropriately for your kids’ sports games? Let us know at @SpImageConsulting on FB or @nycimageacademy on Twitter