How to dress for your interview
It’s been said that the first impression is the most important part of meeting someone. So, when thinking about interviews, every single detail is critical to ensuring you make a good impression.
From how you hold yourself, the way you speak, your awareness of social interactions right down to the attire you choose to wear on the day.
Dressing for job interviews is a lot more complicated than it used to be. With new ways of working i.e. within shared offices, many organisations that operate within set-ups like these, tend to have a laid-back atmosphere. Gone are the days when the only real worry you had was ‘Am I formal enough?’ now you’ve also got to ask, ‘Am I too formal?’. You have companies who celebrate casual dress, some who insist on only suits, whilst many are headed down the route of mixed, smart casual. It’s hard to know where you should stand.
We’re here to make the decision a little bit easier for you.
Follow the mantra ‘when in doubt, dress up a little more.’ Dress codes vary from industry to company so it’s important for you to get a sense of the corporate culture of the company you’re interviewing for. This will give you a better understanding of what day to day dressing is like. This should however not affect how you dress on the day of your interview.
Remember that you are trying to impress, and you will be competing with other applicants. Sure, the interview itself will form the biggest part of whether you get the job or not. However, you must remember that in the grand scheme of things, that is not a whole lot to go by, so even the smallest details like how you are dressed will make all the difference.
It is widely known that you will make a better impression in a nice suit and tie, or dress, than someone who comes in sweatpants or jeans and trainers.
The most important thing when deciding what to wear is to do your research into a company as well as the role you are interviewing for.
Wearing muted and neutral colours will be ideal for more corporate interviews, whereas if you were interviewing for a job within fashion then bold colours and patterns might just give you the edge.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that your outfit is what you wear from head to toe, your shoes and your bag counts! Now we’re not saying spend a lot of money for your interview attire. If you have the means then please do consider investing in an outfit that will last, something you save for interviews but also important work occasions. If your budget is a little tight then there is plenty of cost-friendly places you can buy clothes that will make you feel and look the corporate part.
Smart attire should always be at the forefront of your mind when deciding what to wear, but you also need to be comfortable. It’s no use wearing a very smart outfit and wriggling around in it for the entire duration of the interview. Make sure you don’t leave it till the last minute to decide what you’re wearing. Try the outfit on at least a few times, including the night before the interview. Do not wear new shoes, have them ‘broken in’ before the day of the interview. You can do this by wearing it around the house with extra thick socks (if possible) so that you avoid the risk of having feet cramp later on.
Find an outfit that is a balance of you whilst also maintaining a hint of formality. The reason we say this is because often, people dress in ways they think is smart when in reality it is over the top. Do your homework by looking into other types of companies that are similar. Check social media and see what other people are wearing.
Aside from all of that please remember that what you’re bringing to the interview is much more than how good you are at dressing yourself. The employers want to trust that you are smart and capable of being formal, but most importantly they want to know what qualities you can offer to the company and how you intend to make the role yours.
Take a deep breath, clothes are just materials that you use to boost your confidence.