Dear Parents...

Posted at 4:14 pm on 04/20/2017

Help your Graduate Avoid this Top Interviewing Mistake

There’s this weird sisterhood that takes place between two complete strangers in the women’s dressing room. Similar to the dressing room scene in the movie, Keeping Up with the Joneses starring Isla Fisher and Gal Gadot, I found myself standing in my underwear before three complete strangers giving advice on how to dress for an interview.

I was trying on some new dresses at my favorite clothing boutique when I overheard a woman say, “My daughter is graduating from college and she has her first job interview on Monday.” The sales associate assured her that her daughter looked beautiful in the very pricy outfit and went on to say the outfit was perfect for an interview. I thought, no wonder 75% of hiring managers believe the top interviewing mistake millennials make is wearing inappropriate attire (according to a study done by recruiting firm, Adecco.)

Although I was trying to mind my own business, I couldn’t help but wonder what type of job and what kind of company would find a black and white striped mini skirt with a matching cropped bomber jacket to be appropriate attire for a job interview. Is she a model, I wondered? Or perhaps a singer or going into some other type of creative field? My curiosity got the best of me so I asked, “What type of job is she interviewing for? “Engineering,” the mother replied.

Where I didn’t want to contradict the sales associate or block her sales commission, I could not keep silent and let this well-meaning mother lead her daughter down the wrong path. So, I spoke up and shared with her what I teach my career coaching clients.

What I know for sure is that how you dress for an interview matters. It matters because our physical appearance is a form of non-verbal communication. It is the visual impression that accompany your ability to speak the right words with the right emotion while being intellectually convincing. To communicate well on a job interview, the candidate must bring all four—intellect, emotional intelligence, non-verbal, and verbal communication—of these factors together. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.” When job candidates bring more than a college degree to the interview they are more likely to succeed.

If you’re a parent wanting to help your graduate prepare for the interview, check out this video on professional dressing.

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Yvette Gavin has coached individuals into higher paying jobs, more rewarding careers, and personal spiritual growth. A dynamic organizational leader, Yvette has helped Fortune 100 companies and small businesses to improve the quality of their deliverables and to build stronger and highly productive teams.  Yvette is the author of Recalibrate! Navigating the Job Market with Confidence.   Visit

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