Allied Health Podcast Series 1 Episode 16

Dress for Success in an Allied Health Interview – Chelsea Brice

In Episode 16 of Allied Health Podcast Clare Jones interviews Chelsea Brice, personal stylist who shares her expert advice on the importance of dressing for an interview, what is communicated by what you wear and how it impacts on performance. They also explore creating a workwear wardrobe that is both professional but also suits the often active needs of Allied Health Professionals.

Speaker You’re listening to Allied Health Podcast, talking all things Allied Health with your hosts, Danielle Weedon, physiotherapist, and Clare Jones, occupational therapist.

Danielle Weedon In this episode, Clare Jones interviews Chelsea Bryce, a personal stylist who shares her expert advice on the importance of dressing for an interview, what is communicated by what you wear, and how it impacts on your performance. They also explore creating a workwear wardrobe that’s both professional and practical to suit the often active needs of allied health professionals.

Clare Jones Hello, Chelsea, and thank you so much for joining me today on Allied Health Podcast.

Chelsea Bryce Hello, Clare, my absolute pleasure and thank you so much for having me. I’m a little bit excited!

Clare Jones I’ve really been looking forward to this interview. Now you are an incredibly successful personal stylist. How about we kick off with you telling us exactly what you do?

Chelsea Bryce Yeah, absolutely. I am a personal stylists/personal shopper who works with real everyday men and women, just helping them create wardrobes that they love and that are really just easy to use and easy to get dressed every morning and work really hard for their lifestyle.

Clare Jones Now we’re, today we’re going to specifically talk about interviewing and what to wear to an interview? So how does what you wear to an interview impact on your performance?

Chelsea Bryce Yes, it definitely impacts on your performance because what you wear actually has a direct impact on how you feel and how you’re thinking. So if you’re wearing an outfit that you love and feel confident in, you’re generally going to present and speak a lot more confident than you would if you weren’t wearing something that you loved, or that felt professional to you. First impressions are huge in an interview, and especially if you’re being interviewed by, you know, someone who is highly visual like myself, you want to really make sure that you are neatly dressed, tucked properly, there’s no stains or damage on your clothes because that person interviewing you can just narrow in on that and make the assumption that you haven’t really prepared for the interview, or maybe that you don’t really care about getting the job. That might not be true, but that’s how it might portray to the other person.

Clare Jones I guess, I guess what you wear to an interview really reflects a lot about potentially how you’re going to perform in a role as well.

Chelsea Bryce One hundred percent.

Clare Jones Like if you’re unprepared in terms of what you’re wearing, if you look as though you’ve just thrown something together for the interview, then maybe that reflects how are you going to how are you going to perform in a role.

Chelsea Bryce How are you going to turn up to your job? Absolutely. And preparation is the key. I don’t want you to just like, go to your wardrobe the morning of the interview and pull something out, because that will just get you in a state of overwhelm and fluster if you can’t find something to wear. So make sure that you know in advance what you are going to wear.

Clare Jones Hmm. Now allied health professionals, when interviewing, they are most commonly advised to dress smart for an interview. So typically they won’t wear a corporate suit to an interview. So what, what types of things would you advise for them to dress in?

Chelsea Bryce Yeah, and I find this smart, or smart casual, or business casual, an area that a lot of people struggle with because they don’t quite understand it. No, it’s not a suit. A suit is probably way too structured these days and for what they’re doing, but you still want to look professional and approachable. So I would suggest either a light coloured top or just a top that’s a little bit softer. So if you’re going to go, if you’re a woman and you’re going to go a darker top, make sure it’s maybe a little bit softer. So it just has that approachability aspect to it, and lighter colours always come across a lot better in an interview. So a white or a light blue or a, you know, even like a blush pink or something like that. Just soft and light,

Clare Jones Soft and light. And yeah, you’ve just, so my next question was going to be what colours, what colours suit best? So it’s those lighter colours?

Chelsea Bryce I jumped the gun there. I mean if you are going to do a dark, dark top, it’s fine, but you just don’t want dark and very structured because that just cuts you off to the person that you’re speaking to. So if you’re going to go a dark top, maybe have an open neck line. If you’re a man, unbutton your shirt a little bit just, so you have that communication chakra, which is just below your throat, open, so you’re appearing open to the other person.

Clare Jones What about things like sleeves or no sleeves? Are there any sort of golden rules to follow or golden rules not to break?

Chelsea Bryce Yeah. Look, I really am someone who doesn’t love rules, but I would generally suggest if you’re to an interview that it is good to cover your arms. Have a little bit of arm coverage unless it’s like a 40 degree day or something like that. But absolutely, yeah. Even if it’s just a small cap sleeve, I think it just shows that a little bit more of professionalism.

Clare Jones And I have heard Chelsea that if you’re unsure of what to wear, it’s best to err on the side of conservative.

Chelsea Bryce I would, I would always err on the side of conservative when you’re going to an interview, absolutely.

Clare Jones We’re seeing, since COVID broke, we’re seeing a lot of interviews being conducted via video link. Which prior to COVID, we didn’t see a lot of interviews being done by video link, a few by phone, but mostly they were all face to face. So with this shift, what advice can you give to anyone presenting for an interview via video link?

Chelsea Bryce Yeah. First of all, you want to have a really clear picture. So you’ve got to think about the lighting when you’re facing a window, you will have the maximum lighting, so you’re just really clear and present to the person that you’re talking to. Hair is a really important thing. Just make sure that’s neat and tidy and also sitting appropriately like you were in an interview.

Clare Jones Not lying on your bed?

Chelsea Bryce No, no. Not for this role.

Clare Jones You can be. It can be difficult, especially when you’re interviewing at home, as we are spending a lot of time at home at the moment. And I think it’s really important to click into that professional space when you’re interviewing and finding, even though you are in your home, finding that space in your home that you know, that is as professional as it can be.

Chelsea Bryce Totally. Clutter free where you can. And talking about colours, actually, I do probably want to evolve on the colour question before and thinking about being on a virtual interview is, I guess my idea around is just don’t go really bold and bright. You don’t want that to be the centre of attention in the interview. So that’s why I generally say light or just quite neutral. Because, yeah, you want the interview to be about you, not what you’re wearing, you know, and just wear the colours that make you feel really good too. That’s just always important.

Clare Jones And what are your key tips for pulling together a work wardrobe?

Chelsea Bryce Yeah, you got to get your staples right and you’ve got to have light and dark options. So, for example, if your staples in going to work, were a pair of trousers and a blouse. I would have two options for a trouser, maybe a light and a dark and then two options for a blouse, maybe a light and a dark so that you can do dark dark, light light, light dark, dark light. I hope that made sense when I was talking through it! It just means creating variety, really, and just shopping for what you actually need and is practical for the job.

Clare Jones And a very simple wardrobe with, that’s not jammed packed full of clothes, makes for a much better start to the day, doesn’t it? Where you don’t have to sit and rummage through clothes and I’ve learnt, I’ve learnt that lesson myself.

Chelsea Bryce Yes, so clutter equals confusion. So if you’re opening your wardrobe every morning to just a wardrobe full of clutter and probably full of a lot of items that you don’t wear, this will not get your day off to a good start. It needs to be a clear space, doesn’t have to be perfect, but you’ve got to be able to see what you’re wearing and yeah, you’ve got to have those light and dark options. To make maximum variety.

Clare Jones So a lot of our listeners will be heading into their first jobs shortly and they’ll be, and they’ll be pulling together a wardrobe, a workwear wardrobe now. Considering as a therapist, you’re often, you know, you need to be super mobile. You might be getting on the floor with kids or, you know, moving equipment around out of, in and out of cars and all the rest of it. What would you, what are your key tips for creating a really functional wardrobe?

Chelsea Bryce Yeah. So the durability of the fabric, so don’t buy any fabrics that are too delicate, I guess. Pants with stretch are always a good one if you’re up and down quite constantly and tops that are low enough so that you’re feeling comfortable if you are bending down, that you’re fully covered.

Clare Jones Yeah, yeah, it’s really important to have clothes that cover you nicely in a professional context when you are having to move around quite a bit.

Chelsea Bryce Yeah, you got your arms up in the air, lifting things or yeah, bending, bending down. You’ve just got to think of these things. So I, in the change room, just, you know, I’ll be bending down, I’ll be lifting up to just to check.

Clare Jones Yeah, that’s a really good point.

Chelsea Bryce Because in my job, I am bending down, constantly fixing people’s pants and doing their shoes up. So I have to make sure that, yeah, my clothing is practical and it doesn’t just look good.

Clare Jones And that’s great. Well, thanks so much for joining me today, Chelsea.

Chelsea Bryce My absolute pleasure. Thank you.

Clare Jones Thank you for sharing your expert knowledge and advice.

Speaker We hope you enjoyed listening to the Allied Health Podcast. In the show’s notes, you’ll find links to our free recruitment resources, job opportunities and health care marketplace insights. To listen to new episodes, please subscribe via Apple, Google, or wherever you find your favourite podcast and if you’ve enjoyed the show, please give it a five star rating and review. And be sure to tell your therapy colleagues and friends to tune in.