Interviewing in a Winter Wonderland

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. Here at the Career Center we want to help you embrace the winter wonderland as it coincides with your job search. The cold and wet weather can make arriving for an interview or new job a bit of a challenge, but have no fear.

Here are some tips to make sure you make a good impression from the moment you arrive by looking professional and not like the abominable snowman.

1) Layer underneath. Instead of piling on the sweaters and jackets, try wearing a warm base-layer. This allows you to look sleek without freezing on the walk to the metro. Long johns and tights/leggings can go underneath pants or you can wear thick tights with boots. Make sure you have a pair of warm socks, and your feet should be good to go. If it is very cold out, try a warm cotton shirt under your button-up or dress.

2) Avoid frostbite. Packing a change of shoes and wearing boots can be tricky when you do not yet have a desk to stash the boots under. If you cannot store your big winter boots somewhere, then try wearing professional weatherproof boots or investing in weatherproofing spray. You can spray the nice boots you already have to minimize water or snow getting in. If all else fails, pack an extra pair of socks and change into those before the interview. Take care of other extremities as well. Wear gloves, because no one wants to shake hands with an icicle.

3) Arrive warm, look cool. Some basics – though it may be warmer, avoid wearing any puffy winter sports coats. Instead opt for a pea coat or trench coat that is long enough to cover your suit jacket. Though for some it may be inevitable, try to avoid hat hair. If you are someone whose hair does not easily recover from a hat, wear earmuffs or a headband. Or, if you can bring a comb to straighten up after arriving. An alternative for people with long hair is to wear it pulled back in a way that is not as easy to muss up. Since you are already arriving early for the interview, do one last check in the bathroom to make sure you survived the cold in one piece. As much as you love your cat hat or giant mittens, wear practical but not comical hats, gloves, and scarves.

Interviewing or starting a new position in the winter does not mean you cannot still look professional, it just may take a little extra work. For more advice on business attire, check out the Career Center’s website or one of the great books in the Career Center library.