Top Tips on Dressing For An Interview

Interviews can be stressful ordeals, even for those of us who’ve attended dozens of them. You’re under pressure to present yourself in the best possible light, to remember all of the clever answers to likely questions, and to ultimately secure the job. But there’s one aspect of the interview process that can undermine a candidate’s case before they’ve uttered a single word: the clothes that they wear. Inappropriate dress is among the most notorious red-flags among interviewers. It presents a poor first impression that’s near-impossible to shake, however well the rest of the interview might go.

So, what’s the right way to dress for an interview? Let’s find out.

Research the company's style

What works for one interview might not work for another. Many modern businesses take a casual approach to the office, even if what they’re doing is relatively serious. Take a look at the company’s website, and see if there are any pictures of workers lounging around on sofas during meetings. If there aren’t (or you can’t find any pictures), then you should default to more formal dress. Of course, you can always ask what’s appropriate over the phone – some employers might view this as an encouraging sign that you’re willing to take the initiative. When in doubt though go for a smart appearance. You can always dress down when you have the job.

Avoid revealing clothing

Avoid anything that’s overly revealing. It's important to dress appropriately so avoid skirts that are ultra-short, and tops that show too much cleavage. You want the interviewer to focus on your skills and qualifications.

Avoid excessive accessorising

A little bit of glitz will not harm your chances – provided that it’s only a little bit of glitz. Quality over quantity is important when it comes to jewellery. It shouldn't be the first thing the interviewer notices about you is the quantity of jewellery you’re wearing. A decent tote bag and some classic jewellery like small stud earrings or a simple necklace are perfect, or cufflinks and a bracelet for a man.

Clean your shoes

One of the most often-neglected items in an interviewee’s wardrobe is a pair of quality shoes that have been maintained well. Gleaming black leather will give the impression that you pay attention to every detail; dull and dirty leather will make it seem like you’re lazy or oblivious. If you’re attending several interviews over the space of a few days, then just give them a quick once-over in the evenings.

Don’t underestimate comfort

If you’re wearing something overly restrictive, then it might actually be a distraction that undermines your performance. So make sure that you field-test every item you’re going to be wearing so that you can be fairly sure it won’t make you feel uncomfortable.

Lay out everything in advance

You don’t want to be thinking about your clothes the moment before you leave. Doing so might cause unnecessary stress and delay. Instead, make sure that everything you’re going to wear is prepared, ironed, and ready to go. Now all you need to worry about is answering the questions!

*Collaborative post

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