Tag Archives: Vancouver

How To Design the Perfect Interview Outfit

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Dressing for an interview is a crucial element in winning the job. Although it has been said that it’s the man (or women) not the suit that matters, the reality is that first impressions are everything.

So the question is, is it possible to over dress for an interview?

I’ve had the privilege of sitting on both ends of the table and in my opinion, I don’t think it’s possible to over dress.  Although some companies are more casual than others, I think it’s generally understood that interviewees will typically dress with the idea of creating an excellent first impression.

A friend of mine interviewed at a local tech company for a sales position. For the interview, he wore a suit and tie. When he walked into the interview, he found that he was the most dressed up person on the floor. He said that this made the interview a little awkward. My friend later asked me whether he should have dressed more casually for the interview. There are many schools of thought on this.

If you are interviewing for a position at a company that has a relaxed culture, I think most people can get away with simply wearing a suit with a well paired shirt. Although some people may disagree with this logic, interviewers are looking for both aptitude and  cultural fit. The means that in the interview,  the hiring manager is typically are looking at you through the lens of whether or not they can imagine you working at the company.

On the other hand, it can be argued that you can never really overdress for an interview. A mentor of mine insists that it’s always better to be overdressed than to be too casually dressed. I tend to agree with the more conservative approach because dressing too casually can often backfire

Here are a few tips for designing your interview outfit:

  • Focus on fit! Well fitting suits exude confidence and attention to detail.
  • The tie can make or break an outfit so choose wisely. Slimmer ties are back in vogue.
  • Shine your shoes. Unpolished shoes look incredibly unprofessional.
  • Use classic accessories such as tie clips, cuff links and pocket squares. But don’t go over board. Stick to simple designs.
  • Make sure your suit and shirt doesn’t have wrinkles
  • Dress to your comfort level. If you’ve never worn a tie, then consider leaving it out as it may make you feel awkward in the interview.
  • Wear bold color combinations and pair it with greys and blacks.
  • Do a bit of research on the company to see what kind of culture they have. You would most likely plan your outfit differently for a law firm versus a tech company.
  • Wear your favorite professional work outfit to your interview. A well put together outfit that you’ve stylized exudes confidence.

One last point, is that while looking sharp is really important, it doesn’t replace preparation. Make sure you’re on your A game both in your outfit and in your head.

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Two Tools To Help Maintain Your New Year’s Resolutions

So, we are now sitting in the fourth week of January and a lot of people have either abandoned their New Year’s Resolutions or never got to them in the first place.

Today, I want to offer up two valuable tools for maintaining those resolutions from two of my favorite entrepreneurs.

(Side note, I just finished reading “The Power Of Habit ” by Charles Duhigg and the best way to keep your New Year’s Resolutions is to make it a habit. Check out the book for more great ideas on developing habits)

Tool 1 – Write down 10 goals each day in a notebook. 

Tip taken from Brian Tracy, Entrepreneur, Sales Trainer and Business Coach

The specific practice is to write down 10 goals each day when you wake up to get you focused on what your life and professional priorities are. Brian recommends using a spiral notebook so that you can write down your goals and refer to them later. Once you write down your 10 goals, don’t look at what you’ve written until the end of 30 days. By not referring to what you wrote down yesterday, you will be forced to come up with new ideas for goals and reinforce the ones that are important to you. At the end of 30 days, you’ll find some really neat patterns and have a much more solid idea of what you are working towards.

Tool 2 – Write down a “When Life Works List”.

Tip taken from Sean Stephenson, Entrepreneur

The “When Life Works List” is a really neat tool. Essentially it is a list of habits and activities that need to happen in order for you to have an awesome day. Compiling this list and hitting 5-6 of them every day will keep you motivated and help you keep those resolutions.

This is an example of what my list looks like:

1) Morning Meditation

2) Eating a healthy breakfast

3) An hour of exercise

4) Reading a great book or article for 20 minutes

5) Having a conversation with friends that keep me accountable for my goals

6) A cup of really good tea

7) Writing a blog post

All of these things help me move towards my goals whether i’m having a good or bad day.

Try out these tools for a month and see how they work for you. I can definitely say they’ve helped me stay motivated and inspired this year.

A boost of inspiration – TEDx Vancouver Part 1

Last weekend, I attended the fourth annual TEDx event in Vancouver. As usual, the event was filled with great energy, inspiring speakers and of course ideas worth spreading. For those of you who don’t know, TEDx events are independently run speaker events that license the TED brand and feature a mix of live speakers at TED Talks. This year was especially neat because it was the biggest TEDx in Vancouver featuring an audience of over 2300 people.

Some of my favorite speakers this year include:

– Mark Brand – “The Impact of an Unconventional Solution”

– Robin Esrock – “Learn to Travel: Travel to Learn”

– Dr. John Izzo – “The Defining Moment for a Generation-In-Waiting”

Although the videos aren’t posted yet, if you click here, you can check out all the speaker bios.

In the meantime, check out videos of my favorite speakers from last year’s TEDx Vancouver lineup:

Victor Lucas – “The 3D Rules”

Romeo Dallaire – “The Frontier of Social Revolution”

Christopher Gaze – “Shakespeare is Everywhere”

Check back again for part 2 of this post where i’ll be posting some of my favorite photos and quotes from TEDx Vancouver 2012.