Going for an interview for a new job can be nerve wracking enough, without having to worry about what you’re wearing.
If you want to have the right outfit for an interview here is what you need to know:
- Dress up, even if the workplace has a casual dress code. The interviewer wants to think that you want to impress, and that you’ve made an effort. Looking sloppy or too casual says that you will have a sloppy or casual attitude to work.
- Do your research – check out the company website and see how people are represented on there. It’s the feel and look of the marketing that can tell you about the way the company sees itself and how it wants to be seen in the market place. If all the pictures are suits and ties, then you will need to wear a suit with a collared shirt. If its jeans and t-shirts, then a jacket, knit and either pants or a skirt will be appropriate.
- Understand the business brand – while you’re researching the business website, look for information about the business brand, the mission statement and business values. Read the ‘about us’ page and note down all the adjectives they use to describe the business, services and products. Reliable and efficient call for more conservative and corporate clothes than modern and innovative, which ask for a more creative or fashion forward appearance.
- Avoid any clothing with writing or logos. Statements or brand marketing are not what you want to do in an interview.
- Wear closed toe shoes. Feet can be distracting to some, plus many places have policies on covered feet, better to be safe than sorry.
- Be careful of too much colour. Colour can make you memorable, but too much can make you look too fun and casual. For an interview, stick to a palette of a flattering dark neutral (dark colours make you appear more authoritative) and a colour that flatters. Wearing a top in a colour that brings out your eye colour is one easy way to choose colour, for instance, blue eyes, a blue top.
- Balance your personality – if you are an extrovert, don’t overwhelm the interviewer by wearing lots of red. Instead opt for more subtle colours such as blue, green or grey. If you are quiet shy or introverted, you can wear that red top, it will help the interviewer to remember you and will balance your more receding personality.
- Ensure that your outfit fits well. Wearing clothes that fit will mean that you aren’t fiddling or rearranging them during the interview which can make you appear more nervous. Also, clothing that fits will make you look like a high quality candidate.
- Pay attention to your grooming. Get a great haircut, blow dry your hair, wear light makeup. These kind of grooming details say to the interviewer that you pay attention to detail, you take personal pride in the job you do, and that you are in control of your life.
- Keep your outfit simple. Too many layers or details can be distracting. You want to be the focus, not what you’re wearing. A pair of tailored pants or a simple straight skirt, a shirt or top, freshly ironed, and jacket will make you look professional and prepared. A pendant or brooch can create a focal point near your face, drawing attention up. Avoid dangly earrings as they can distract. And if you wear glasses, wear them. Studies have shown that we assume people who wear glasses are smarter than those who don’t. Take the advantage that your poor eyesight gives you in this environment!
Numerous studies have shown that good personal presentation is often the difference between getting the job and not, and earning a salary up to 25% more than someone who is not well presented. Give yourself the advantage by putting together a killer interview outfit.