While a well-tailored suit is expected attire when applying for a job at an investment bank, it’s not the norm when applying for caregiver jobs. When deciding what to wear for an interview, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember, how you look can be just as important as what you say. Here are some of our top dos and don’ts for deciding what to wear for a caregiver interview:
Interview dressing do’s
Dress with the job in mind: You want the parents to imagine you in your future role as a caregiver, so wear clothes that aren’t physically restricting. If there are young, active children in the home, the parents need to be able to imagine you getting on the floor playing with them. Also, a dry-clean-only dress isn’t a good idea if you’re going to need to handle messy nappies. Show the parents that you are dressed appropriately to get stuck in if things get messy.
Go easy on the makeup: Keep your look light and neutral. Your hair should be neatly pulled back or swept off the face, and makeup should be minimal. You want to enhance your best features, not look like you’re headed to a club.
Get feedback: When you’re interviewing, it’s imperative that you give a good first impression. If you’re not sure about how you look, ask different people or even consult social media–someone may pick up on something that you didn’t see.
Mention your schedule: You may end up needing to come to the interview straight from a different job. If so, alert the parents, so they understand you’ll be dressed in your work attire. You could pack a change of clothes and change on the way, but store it carefully so it doesn’t wrinkle.
Be comfortable, yet tasteful: Nothing is worse than being uncomfortable at an interview. For this reason, choose clothing that is modest and make sure it fits. Then put yourself in situations you may encounter. What happens when you sit on a chair or on the floor? Or when you crawl around (as if after a baby or a dog). Did anything ride up or down or make you feel self-conscious? Is your dress or skirt OK or should you switch to trousers?
Make your feet happy: It’s great that you can walk in 4-inch stilettos, but an interview is not the time to show off that talent. Think low, simple and comfy. If you’re asked to tour the home or do any other activities that will require you to stand or move around, you’ll want to make sure you’ll be comfortable.
Interview dressing don’ts
Don’t wear too much jewellery: When it comes to jewellery, less is more. Also, don’t forget that babies love to grab big earrings. This doesn’t mean that you should leave all of your accessories at home, but it’s best to keep it minimal. Wearing a watch for instance is an indicator that you are punctual!
Don’t show too much skin: The point of an interview is to see how you interact with the family. You may be asked to play with the kids to see how your personalities mesh, so don’t come dressed for an evening out in town. Do the grandma test: Would you wear this outfit to visit your grandmother?
Don’t dress sloppily: While you don’t want to dress up too much, you also want to be wary of looking too dressed down. Wear clothes that are comfortable enough to be able to get on the floor and play with the children, but don’t dress in tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie–that is too casual. Many people also consider jeans too informal, so stick to normal pants. Coming in unkempt, wrinkled and disheveled gives the impression you don’t care about your appearance. You still want to make a good impression on your potential employer.
Don’t marinate yourself in perfume: Some people are very sensitive to fragrance. You never know if the parents or any of the kids suffer from respiratory illnesses or allergies that your perfume may agitate.
When it comes to interview dressing, above all, keep this advice in mind: Wear ‘one level up’ of what you might wear on the job. Make sure your outfit is polished, but not too stuffy. If you arrive at your interview comfortable and confident, you’ll make just the impression you want and be one step closer to landing the job.
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