Interview #2 – The Presentation

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The day after my first interview for my new position, I got a call inviting me back for a second interview with the next people up in the chain of command. I was thrilled to find that they were impressed enough with me in the first meeting to continue me on to the next phase of the recruitment process. It also helped that I have an immense amount of experience in a somewhat specialized area of Web site management that was exactly what they need…

I was a bit surprised by the assignment for the second interview. They asked me to design and build a whole Web site with a fictitious theme of their choosing, then come in and present it to a panel of four people. While I was a bit scared by the immense undertaking ahead of me (on a very short deadline), I was thrilled because they were asking me to do what I am best at, and I knew they would be impressed with the results.

I had six days to complete the project, but had to work 10-hour days at my old job for three of those days. So I spent lunches, evenings and my entire 3-day weekend on this project. I tried to think of every possible detail I could include, made my design and code immaculate, and ran the whole thing by several friends and family members to get input and look for mistakes. Then I prepared a very detailed presentation of the site. I wasn’t sure what they were going to look for or ask me when they saw the finished project, so I was prepared for any possibility I could think of. It was the toughest challenge I’ve ever had as part of trying to get a job! I walked out of that presentation with some very nice kudos from all of the panel members. I pretty much knew at that point that this was all going to work out.

I chose to wear something like what I would wear to make any professional presentation. However, my supply of long-sleeved blazers being miniscule, I had to track down a new one in my size in less than a week! That’s no small task when you live in a small-ish town that is very casual. So I hunted online, found this one at Express, then called around to stores in the LA area to find one that had my size in stock. Mr. Kitty commutes to LA for work, so when I found one I had them hold it and he so sweetly went to pick it up. Luckily, it was indeed the perfect fit. And thankfully I had a coupon I had found online, because Express career wear is not cheap. But I don’t have many other “splurge” pieces in my closet that are office-appropriate, and this jacket was WELL worth the cost. It even has a little flair at the bottom that makes it very figure-flattering.

I almost felt overdressed in this outfit, but the IT director, who was part of this panel, was wearing a suit and tie. So I made the right choice. To keep this look from feeling too corporate, I paired the blazer with a white lace blouse, and the vintage brooch that belonged to Mr. Kitty’s mother. A simple black pencil skirt from Target and black tights finished the monochromatic look I was going for. There is something about the combination of black, white and grey that always feels edgy to me, even if the style of the outfit really isn’t alternative at all. I wore the same bow-decked heels as in the first interview to further enhance the femininity of this look. I felt powerful, professional and confident in this outfit.

For all three interviews, I wore the same makeup look. I used a very dark brown eyebrow powder instead of my usual black, to tone the look down just a bit. I used a shimmery pearl-colored shadow over my whole lid (heavier on the lower lid and more subtle on the brow bone), then a bit of taupe shadow in the crease. Instead of my usual thick black liquid line on the top lid, I used the same dark brown brow powder, applied with a damp brush, to create a soft line along the top lid. I used mascara on the top lashes only, my usual blush (applied lightly) and a rose-colored lip gloss. My eyebrow shape is still distinctly non-mainstream, but the toned-down makeup made my look just undramatic enough. I don’t really care for how I look in brown-toned makeup, particularly that taupe shadow that just happened to be the only earth-tone shadow I had (a free sample with something I had once ordered). I probably won’t wear this look on my first day, but I’ll definitely go subtle until I see how others in the office look.

What do you think I should do for my “First Day at the New Job” makeup?


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17 Comments:

  1. I think you look absoluteley lovely! As always! Congratulations on you presentation Xxxx:)

  2. For early days at a place, I've always been fond of switching it up and putting on a very light-colored eyeshadow. Silver is my favorite,though pink shimmer or white can also create some very nice effects.

  3. Nice new blazer! and I really like the combo of the grey jacket+ white shirt + black on the bottom.You're lovely no matter what makeup you wear! Sometimes I laugh to myself b/c some batty OLD women get away with insane hair and makeup that brands us young people as too "out there" – I guess it will be fun to be OLD someday!

  4. You look so great! I love the interview outfits you've presented so far. They are great inspiration for my own job where they would be absolutely appropriate.Also: congrats! You've done very well!

  5. For what it's worth, I don't actually think your eyebrows look un-mainstream to me… But maybe I just don't go around looking at people's eyebrows… Are they shaped more than I would? Yes but so is most of the worlds because I pluck mine very carefully because I have a fear of ending up with no eyebrows in a few years if I waxed or plucked them more… But generally – I don't normally notice eyebrows unless they're either really overgrown, or if they're say, Amanda Palmer style, lol… (for the record, I am not goth, though I do have some goth tendencies, just in case that makes a difference in how my two cents should be taken)

  6. I love this outfit. I still think those particular shoes are a bit too much, but I would personally never judge anyone on their shoes unless they had holes in the wrong places and were falling apart.The make-up is not you, that's for sure. I don't like it. I think it fits for the purpose for which you chose it, but I like your "you" makeup so much better on you. Which is a shame because normally I love brown earth-tone makeup on people. It's just not flattering here.But the brooch and shirt and blazer and skirt are all you! Overall very professional and yet still hanging on to a bit of your fashion personality!

  7. This look is so nice, feminine and proffessional. I think it was a great choice for your second interview. I have change work a couple of times and observed how people talk of you or other new employees the first time. I think it is important to tone down the dressing to avoid to stick out too much. As a new employee you already have the eyes on you. But the most important thing is to be polite to everyone you meet. A colleague of mine seemed so snark the first time she worked at our factory. But after I got to know her a little bit more she's a very warm and friendly person. First impression can last very long. Good luck!

  8. V, thank you! I'm so, so excited about it!BlacKat, that's an excellent suggestion. I might be able to keep my very light shimmery pink pearl and use a soft grey or something in the crease…GothBarbie, thank you, sweetie!! I KNOW. Old ladies get to be "eccentric" rather than "weirdos." I guess that's something we have to earn over time. ;-D I can't wait!! :)Sal, I'm so glad to hear that these posts are inspiring. I sure did put a lot of thought into these outfits (even more than usual!) and tried to make them appropriate in every way. I didn't get them perfect, but close enough that they did the trick. ;)Anon, I'm so glad you said that. My 5-year old nephew recently questioned my eyebrow shape, so I now assume that they stick out like sore thumbs. 😉 I tend to be an eyebrow noticer… But maybe most people aren't. At least if I don't color them in too dark, it sounds like I will be fine!Unlacing, I think you are probably right about the shoes in most cases (see my reply to the previous post, too, which I was late in getting done!). And I totally agree about the makeup. Now that the pressure is off and I have some time to think about it more, I think I can do better. I think earth-toned makeup works better on people with olive skin, or at least without any hint of pink… I have a fairly pinkish tone and the brown doesn't work at all. Maybe a darker walnut color might, but not this terra cotta! I would be uncomfortable wearing this color for a full day of meeting new people.linnea-maria, your advice is excellent! It's worth toning it down extra just to ensure that the first things people are saying about me when the inevitable "gossip about the new girl" starts is that I am so polite, friendly and professional. The time to bring out the personality is WAY after that critical first moment!

  9. I am also an eyebrow noticed – but I think we are in the minority! I love seeing the more professional look that stays true to out gothic roots!Beautiful!

  10. Congratulations! :DI think you look great, I love the brooch detail, it helps to introduce a little bit of personality in this kind of looks.

  11. Hi,I think the outfit is lovely. Maybe for the first day you could go with silver to darkgrey toned makeup, instead of brown?

  12. Great choice on the ensemble! It's the perfect professional-with-style outfit for a presentation.I think every free makeup sample I've ever received has been taupe or brown. 😛 Hard to believe there's anything unflattering for you, but I'd agree the brown tones don't work. I'll again champion the "forgotten neutral" and suggest grey. I think you could create a lovely work-appropriate eye look with greys, silvers and pinks.

  13. Both of your interview outfits look amazing. It is so difficult to dress for an interview an still show style. You do it well. I think it is safe to go towards blacks, purples, grays with your eye makeup for your first day. If you wear your glasses you probably don't have to worry too much about the shades. Plus your makeup application is flawless, which is probably more important than tones.

  14. danamite, I hope you are right about us eyebrow-noticers being the minority. 😉 Thank you for your kind words!!Madame Macabre, thanks! I adore and treasure this brooch, so it really is the perfect touch for me.Miss Emerald, thanks for your suggestion! I'm definitely leaning toward a dark grey for the crease color and eyeliner.Bane, thank you!! I know; what is up with them giving away all the browns? Another vote for greys and pinks – so that decides it! That's what I'll do. I have a week off between the old job and the new, so I'll be experimenting plenty with this color scheme. 🙂

  15. siouxsieL, thank you! 🙂 You make an excellent point about the glasses – they really do distract from the makeup as long as it isn't too dark. I love purple shadows, so I'll try that along with the greys and pinks other have suggested. Thanks for your suggestions!

  16. again this is a very decent but awesome outfit. i love those pearl earrings as tiny details <3 i'm pretty sure the people love you already 😀

  17. Great outfit! You look so professional and put together, but still very you. 🙂

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