For many, getting an interview with a major magazine, TV news station, or newspaper can be a dream come true. For business owners, it’s an opportunity to get recognized by the public and draw attention to the business.
In fact, many business owners have taken print news stories about themselves and their business and turned them into decorative displays by preserving their printed featured articles in a plaque. With a plaque of the article hanging on the wall, your business has a permanent mark of honor from a trusted news source that tells potential customers that your business is a reliable and trustworthy provider of service.
Even for people who don’t own or want to promote a business, a commemorative keepsake of the article can make for a great display piece in the home.
However, before you can make a perfect plaque of your news interview, before that interview even gets published, you have to get through the interview. There are many tips for getting through an interview with the press and making a great impression while you’re at it. Today, however, we thought we’d start with one of the most basic elements of a successful interview: how to dress for success.
Why Dressing Well is a Good Idea
You’d be surprised how often people forget to prepare an appropriate outfit for an interview before the day of the interview. It seems like such a basic thing, but then again, maybe it’s because dressing right for an interview is such a basic step that people forget to think about it.
With the right outfit, you can make a great first impression letting the interviewer, and those who see the article later, get an idea of what you and your business are about (if your image is used for that interview). Project the image you want to convey. Clothes and appearance really can make the man (or woman) in the eyes of others.
Tips for Dressing for an Interview
While you want to impress the interviewer, you don’t necessarily have to dust off your best tuxedo or go and buy some ridiculously expensive business suit that could pay off a midrange family car. While you want your clothes to make a good impression, that impression should still reflect what you and your business are about.
For example, if you’re a mechanic at a local auto repair/service shop, then a clean set of overalls or other work attire that you normally wear should be fine. Of course, if you happen to be the exec of a Fortune 500 business, feel free to break out your favorite suit that you would wear to a meeting with the owner of another big business.
Whether you wear a work outfit, a business suit, or a set of plain clothes, make sure that it feels right for you and your business.
If you’re still unsure of what to wear to your interview with the press, here are a few more specific tips:
Avoid Loud Colors. Typically, you want people to focus on you, not your outfit. This is especially true when it comes to a televised interview or one where your picture will be put in the paper. While a neon pink plaid suit or dress might turn heads, unless it’s your business’ color scheme, a more muted color choice will demonstrate more respect for the interviewer and the audience, helping them to take you more seriously.
Don’t Forget Your Grooming. Showing up to the interview covered in grit, dirt, and grease rarely makes for a great first impression. Taking some time out to take of personal grooming helps to make a more professional first impression.
Accessories. When you want to make a strong, professional impression, a few pieces of tasteful jewelry or other adornments can go a long way, just avoid going overboard. Small, simple earrings and a necklace are a great way to decorate without being too much. Multiple chains and very large earrings are a visual distraction, drawing attention away from you and onto your attire. Nail polish, if worn, should complement your outfit or match with your business’ primary colors.
Of course, whatever you wear to the interview should do one thing above all else: be true to you. If that means wearing more casual attire or “loud” clothing, that can be fine. The tips above are really just meant to help you make the best possible professional impression during an interview. However, it can be more important to be comfortable and confident than it is to be impeccably dressed for the interview.
Also, consider the nature of the publication and its audience when you dress. Not every magazine is going to be focused on the same kind of professional, business audience. For example, magazines that feature custom automotive work and mods frequently encourage a more relaxed, casual atmosphere in interviews.
Learn more about how you can get the most out of your interview in our guide titled “Bragging Rights: Sharing Your Story with the Press” at the link below.