How to Dress for an Interview

HOW TO DRESS FOR AN INTERVIEW 


So you made several job applications and finally get the call you've been waiting for; an interview with the hiring manager! HOORAY! Naturally preparing for the interview is key, however the attire you will have to put together for that fateful day will also play a vital role. First impressions are instinctive, and it only takes a few seconds for someone you are initially meeting to formulate a positive or negative opinion about you. Hiring managers like to visualize the candidate in the position they are trying to fill and whether you like it or not, the way you are dressed can be a deciding factor. After all, as the saying goes "your style is a way to say who you are without having to speak".

What you choose to wear will communicate volumes; a scuffed shoe, messy bag, or a bright colour can instantly suggest sloppiness or that you don’t take your job seriously. It's important to look the part as well as displaying an understanding of business etiquette. In today's society, it's not unusual to find employees who wear t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops to work at some companies. If your interview is indeed with such a company, you probably won't need to wear a three-piece suit, however that does not mean you can afford to dress too casually either. It's vital to conduct some research on the company prior to your interview and get a good grasp of their expectations as the appropriate attire for an interview varies by industry. Whatever the job, you want the interviewer to remember you for your personality and performance and not for that garish tie, short skirt or nose stud. Once you have the job, you can wear whatever the employer deems appropriate. There is no room to experiment with your interview wardrobe, so here is a guide to help you chose the winning outfit for that dream job.

 1. LESS IS MORE

Coordination of colours is an important indicator of a candidate's personality and whether their style fits an organization.  Sticking to corporate colours, such as a navy, black or grey suit is the safest bet.

WOMEN

Aim to be well groomed but keep make-up soft and ensure your hair is away from the face. Do not over do it with jewellery or bright coloured lipstick, as this can be very distracting for the interviewer. Stay away from patterns and keep heels and skirts at a reasonable length. It is important to be aware of showing too much flesh, cleavage or legs. Looking elegant yet professional will give you more confidence and this will come across to the interviewer.

MEN

Ensure both your hair and facial hair is well-groomed. Getting a haircut or a shape up a few days before the interview can go a long way. Similarly it's a good idea to avoid bright coloured ties or unnecessary accessories. The easiest option would be a plain white shirt with a non-patterned single-coloured tie. Stick to a black or brown pair of leather shoes. A black pair of shoes match well with a black or grey suit and a brown pair goes well with a navy or brown suit. Also avoid bright coloured or patterned socks. If you wear jewellery such as earrings or a necklace on a day-to-day basis, it's best to remove these for the interview day.

2. LOOK SHARP                                        

Preparing your clothes a few days before the interview will give you the opportunity to test out a few different outfits and rectify any issues (if any) before the big day. An oversized suit or dress can make you look lousy and unprofessional. You wouldn’t go to a party wearing your father's suit so why would you do so for an interview? It would be a good idea to try on your outfit for a friend or family member and get their perspective on the fit and colours. It goes without saying that you want your outfit to be perfectly ironed and unmarked with any stains.

3. FINAL DETAILS

After having adhered to the guidelines above, prepare your final outfit the evening prior to the interview, ensuring everything is polished and in top shape. Avoid allowing pets into your dressing room as they may leave their wonderful fur on your clothes. Smell pleasant for the interview, however showering yourself in perfume is not a good idea. Some interviewers find this distracting or may suffer from allergies. Also do not take to the interview any unnecessary items or documents. Finally, take one last look at yourself in the mirror before the interview and tell yourself "you can do this!"

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Posted on Wednesday May 11
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