When dressing for a job interview, the rules are the same as dressing for work. You want to dress for success and make sure you look the part. What the interviewer wants is to see whether you are able to represent the company.
The way you look affects the way you are perceived, and when you look the part, you will be able to show off your skills and abilities. The goal is to dress so that people hear what you have to say. How you look is just as important as what is on your CV.
Many people think they have to wear a suit, but while the suit is perfect for some industries, there are many others that don’t always call for one. Prepare for your interview by looking at the type of company and asking yourself if the business is more traditional, people orientated or creative. Traditional businesses include law, banking, accounting and high-level corporate companies. Formal dressing is the most professional option here and a suit is the best thing to wear. A suit in a neutral colour, such as black, navy, charcoal or dark brown, with a light shirt or blouse, is the best option.
Keep your accessories simple and chic. Shoes should be polished, but nothing too flashy. The message you want to send with your clothes is authoritative, conservative and competent. People businesses include sales, education, social work, property and life coaching. These call for business attire that conveys expertise, but is non-threatening. Wear a more relaxed suit or business-casual separates including shirts and cardigans – but definitely no T-shirts or jeans. It is still a business look but more relaxed. The message you want to convey is that you are trustworthy, approachable, and knowledgeable.
Creative enterprises include advertising. PR, art, fashion, writing, architecture, entertainment and decorating. These call for a more creative and expressive style. Add your own personal touch to what you wear. Which will show your interviewer your creativity. But creative doesn’t mean wild, so just a touch of personality is enough. The message an interviewer wants to see is creative, unique and contemporary. If you’re interviewing for a job and don’t know the dress code, you can’t go wrong with traditional business attire. No one will ever look at someone well-dressed and say they are not capable. Dressing for an interview is about planning. Do your research and learn as much as you can about the company. If you want that job, go after it. Make sure the interviewer hears what you have to say by dressing in a way that shows you understand the company. They will be impressed by your professional style. Good luck!
- Wear suits in neutral and deeper solid colours
- Wear a quality watch, not a plastic strap
- Use a good-quality bag, briefcase or portfolio
- Be well-groomed at all times
- Make sure clothes are cleaned and ironed
- Choose good-quality fabric that looks expensive
- Wear simple jewelry that is not too flashy
- Use bright colours in small amounts to make you stand out
- Wear clumpy shoes, trainers or flip-flops
- Have a wild hairstyle and facial hair
- Wear clothing that is too tight
- Wear very casual clothes, jogging trousers or torn jeans
- Have dirty fingernails or wear bright, strong nail polish
- Wear flashy jewelry
- Wear strong aftershave or perfume