Stay cool and look fresh at your interview with these tips
“Never let them see you sweat.” That’s good interview advice as well as a catchy ad slogan. But when it’s blazing hot outside, it takes more than just deodorant to keep your cool. Take additional precautions so you don’t show up a sweaty mess to an interview, sales call or offsite meeting.
To stay cool and look fresh, wear cotton or linen fabrics and light colors. Even in conservative fields, both men and women can wear a taupe or light gray suit instead of the traditional navy provided they look good in those colors, says Ginger Burr, founder of Total Image Consultants in Boston.
Check the label on linen garments if you’re concerned about wrinkling. A bit of Lycra or elastane helps the garment hold its shape in the heat and humidity, she adds.
For women, a three-quarter-sleeve suit jacket or blazer may provide a little relief from extreme heat. Both women and men may want to consider carrying their suit jackets until they arrive for the meeting.
Though it adds another layer, a cotton camisole, tank or T-shirt worn beneath a blouse makes you feel cooler, says Gloria Petersen, founder of Global Protocol, a Phoenix-based consultancy that teaches professional poise among other things. Men should wear a 100 percent cotton undershirt to protect their dress shirt.
If underarm sweat is inevitable, wear dress shields (available for women and men) so it doesn’t soak through and cause embarrassment.
Avoid tight-fitting tops. “They show perspiration more quickly because there’s no way for it to evaporate before it soaks into the fabric,” Burr says.
Both Burr and Petersen are sticklers about hosiery. It’s not optional, they say. Go with thigh-high stockings if you’re confident they won’t slide down, Burr suggests. Toeless stockings are best for peep-toe heels, which are acceptable in most industries, she adds.
Knowing some women simply refuse to wear hosiery, Burr recommends they apply leg makeup or lotion with a translucent tint.
Put your foundation in the refrigerator for an hour for cooler application, she advises, along with eye and lip pencils so they don’t soften in the heat and go on smudgy.
Pull long hair back into a bun or updo, not a ponytail.
For the commute, assemble a kit with oil-absorbing blotting sheets, travel-size deodorant and wet wipes. “You don’t want to just swipe on more deodorant without wiping the sweat away,” Petersen says.
While in transit, consider using a cooling patch (typically marketed to migraine sufferers or menopausal women), Burr suggests. Test it first to make sure the adhesive or cooling agents won’t cause a reaction.
Arrive early so you can freshen up. As Burr points out, by allowing yourself extra time and not rushing, you’re less likely to break out in a sweat in the first place.
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