Dress for an Interview - Top Ten Tips
First impressions are important in the job interview. Research has shown that the first 100 seconds are crucial in determining the interviewer's perception of the candidate's suitability for the position. What you wear to the job interview needs careful thought. This can set you apart from the competition and make sure that your first impression is the right impression.
Dress a level above the position
What you wear to the interview should be one step above the normal clothing for that position. This shows respect for the interview process and indicates that you are making an extra effort.
Dress on the conservative side
Conservative is the safe option. Most employers approve of suits. An interviewer is more likely to accept that you can dress down if the environment is more casual than that you will dress more conservatively once you are employed.
Go for the understated look
Avoid overdoing anything including jewelry, make-up, shoes. Avoid flashy handbags and leave the cartoon tie at home.
You can wear the smartest suit but if your hair is messy and unwashed it loses all impact. Make sure your hair is clean and neatly styled. You don't want to spend the interview pushing hair off your face. This is distracting and irritating for the interviewer!
Clean, neatly manicured nails are also important. Your hands are clearly on view, make sure they send the right message about you.
Put your best foot forward
Closed-toed shoes for women are recommended. Backless shoes and open-toed shoes can look too casual. All shoes should be clean and polished. Run-down shoes ruin an outfit and give the impression that the candidate is careless and does not pay attention to detail. Tottering in on very high heels looks unprofessional, make sure you can walk comfortably and confidently in your shoes, especially if you are going on a workplace tour
Lighten up the black suit
Black suits can look intimidating and too serious. If you prefer to wear a black suit, rather than shades of blue or gray, then relieve it with a light colored shirt. A lighter color next to your face softens the look.
Stay away from leather, denim and shiny fabrics
Leather or denim is not considered professional and can carry negative perceptions. Avoid wearing leather jackets or skirts. Never wear jeans or denim jackets. Shiny, satin-like fabrics are generally inappropriate for smart business wear.
Keep the interviewer focused on what you are saying
You want the interviewer to focus on what you are saying during the job interview. Avoid low necklines, flashy ties, lots of jewelry around your neck, big dangly earrings or over-the-top hairstyles. Too much perfume or cologne is also distracting.
Select and try out your interview clothes a couple of days before the interview
Make sure your outfit is clean, well pressed and not in any need of repair. Try it on to see if you feel comfortable in it. You don't want to spend the interview tugging down a too tight or too short skirt! Keep in mind your commute to the interview, avoid wearing clothes that wrinkle easily if you have some distance to travel.
Keep it professional
This means no piercings, no chewing gum or candy and cover up any tattoos as much as possible. Baggy clothes look messy and tight clothes look as though you are drawing attention to your looks rather than your skills! Jewelry like ankle chains or toe rings looks unprofessional and should be taken off for the interview. Keep it simple and smart.
Dressing appropriately for the interview gives you the competitive edge from the word go. Use these top ten tips to make the right impression and succeed in your job interview.
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