The way you dress for an interview gives potential employers their first impression of how you present yourself professionally. Even if you look great on paper, if you don’t dress appropriately for an interview, you give the impression that you lack respect for yourself and those you are meeting with.
DRESSING WELL INDICATES PROFESSIONALISM
- Dressing appropriately for work isn’t simply a matter of looking professional; it’s also an indication that you recognize that norms and standards exist because they are expectations that need to be followed. Even if you believe that you should be judged on your talent and ability and not on your appearance, dressing appropriately for the situation shows that you have respect for your employer and clients, and you are willing to follow the directives in the workplace.
DRESSING WELL HELPS BOOST YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
- Dressing professionally can give you a boost of confidence, putting you in a work frame of mind. It’s even recommended that you dress in work attire for telephone interviews, simply because it puts you in a difference mindset than if you are interviewing in your bathrobe or a pair of shorts. When you look your best, it has the potential to bring out your best performance.
BEING WELL DRESSED PROMOTES SELF RESPECT AND VALUE ABOUT THE JOB
- Dressing in the right attire for an interview shows that you’re serious about the job, respectful of the interviewer’s time, and are genuinely interested in the position. It also demonstrates an understanding of the corporate culture and showcases you as someone who would fit easily into the workplace dynamic.
- A large part of dressing to impress in an interview is in learning about the company in advance of the interview and getting a feel for how people outfit themselves. Based on your findings, step things up a notch to make a good impression. For example, if jeans and button-ups are the norm, wear slacks and a sports coat; if slacks and a sports coat are the norm, wear a suit and tie. Once you get the job you can alter your appearance to whatever the everyday business norm looks like.
Always remember to be confident and walk in with a positive and welcoming attitude. Confidence is the best accessory for any outfit.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE IDEAL OUTFITS FOR JOB INTERVIEW
- Wear a conservative solid colored suit or a long sleeve collared shirt with an appropriate tie, that means no tacky cartoon ties. Keep it professional and simple. Wear clean polished dress shoes. It’s best to wear dark socks, because when sitting down, your pants rise up, and white socks are sometimes too bright, distracting from the whole outfit.
- You don’t want your pants falling down in the middle of the interview so remember to wear a belt, and make sure it matches. Tuck in your shirt and don’t forget to iron it. Wrinkled shirts are not only unprofessional, but they show you didn’t take the time to put any effort into looking your best.
- Other than watches, men should avoid wearing jewelry. If you have any piercings take them out and cover your tattoos. Your hairstyle should be neat and professional, don’t overdo it with the gel. Same goes for the aftershave, go easy on it. It’s better to keep it simple and neat.
- Start preparing for an interview in advance. Make sure you have appropriate interview attire, and that everything fits comfortably. Leaving everything until the day of, could possibly make you late or add unnecessary stress. Polish your shoes, iron your clothes, and pop in a mint before going in.
- It’s best to go with a solid color and conservative suit. Match it with a coordinated blouse and moderate shoes. If you wear a skirt suit and decide to wear panty hose have them be a neutral color.
- If you skip the panty hose, make sure the skirt is an appropriate length. If you sit down and the skirt rises up, then it’s probably too short. Wear a skirt you can move around in and is comfortable.
- Put a limit on the amount of jewelry you wear. Accessories always accentuate an outfit, but when going on an interview, less is better. That means no dangling earrings, or arms full of bracelets.
- Your nails should be cleaned and neatly manicured. Nail polish should be a neutral color. Don’t overdo it with a bright neon color.
- Hair should be neat and professional. Pulled back is the best way to go. Don’t have your hair covering your face. Side-swept bangs will keep the hair off your face, but the rest should be pulled back into a bun, a side ponytail or a half up ponytail.
- Make-up should be light and look natural. A fresh face always looks nice. If you decide to wear eye shadow, keep it to a minimum. Don’t wear the same make-up you would wear on a night out with the girls.
- If you’re taking a bag, it’s best to stick with a briefcase because it looks the most professional. If you don’t own a briefcase and don’t want to go out and buy one, a solid black bag, or one that matches your outfit is best.
Final Tips & Tricks
- Check out the company culture: when first deciding what to wear for a job interview research the dresscode and determine if it’s corporate, semi-formal or smart casual.
- Match the man: your outfit should match or be slightly dressier than the dresscode of the company, and thus, the interviewer.
- Present your best: ensure your nice-fitting clothes are clean and ironed. Shoes polished, breath fresh and hair and facial hair neatly groomed.
- Avoid brash and brazen: unless your interviewing for the circus, avoid loud prints and uncouth colourways, sticking to muted prints and colours, or simply neutrals – just to be safe.
- Accessorise intelligently: with a textured tie, silk pocket square or pebble-grain briefcase, you can inject a bit of personality into your outfit. Again, keep the patterns neat and colours dark if in doubt. You’ll have plenty of time to play around with office style, once you’ve landed the job. Good things come to those who wait.