Interviews can often be high pressured, stressful and intimidating. However, knowing you look good, well-presented and prepared for your interview can not only help ease the nerves but also boost your confidence.
Ask yourself… Would you show up for a job interview wearing jeans, sneakers or a t-shirt? Would you chew gum during the interview or arrive in disheveled or wrinkled clothes? The answer should be NO! Wearing inappropriate or outlandish attire to a job interview can potentially cost you the job. How you present yourself during an interview is important. It is much better to be overdressed than underdressed.
First impressions are everything and they are made to last, this is why people stress over what to wear. It is a good idea to make sure you have your attire prepared the night before.
When people are told to dress professionally, in corporate attire or dress to impress for an interview this is sometimes perceived as having to wear the biggest brands or the most expensive attire. When in fact, dressing professionally can cost you a lot less than you think. Effort is the biggest key factor that everyone looks out for, if you make effort in your appearance it will not go unnoticed.
Here are some of the best tips on how to make sure you dress successfully for an interview. These looks will not only make you look professional and corporate but also fashionable and still on budget.
What to Wear?
Women’s Professional Interview Attire
- Keep the outfit simple with limited bright colours
- Pants/ Skirt: If you prefer pants make sure they are not creased or old. If you prefer a skirt, keep it knee length
- Shirts: If you do not have a blouse or collared shirt which is preferred, you can get away with wearing a plain top (no flowers, low-cut or colourful tops)
- If you wear a skirt you MUST wear stockings/ tights (light or black coloured)
- Hair: The hairstyle you choose must look professional and neat, you can never go wrong with a bun/ ponytail or leaving it down as long as your hair looks groomed
- Jewellery: Keep this to a minimal, a nice small necklace, bracelet and small earrings will do just fine. No hoop earring or over the top necklaces/ bracelets as this is considered TOO much for an interview.
- Makeup: Sparse makeup and perfume- no dark eye makeup or too much foundation- keep this look for afterhours not for an interview
- Shoes: Wear small or medium heels (MUST be closed toes)
- Nails: Must be manicured as this will be noticed.
Men’s Professional Interview Attire
- Suit: Try go for a matching suit- nothing too out there but a plain black/ navy blue or grey will look professional – keep the colours and patterns to a minimum
- No suit no problem: If you do not own a suit the easiest look to pull off is plain black pants with a nice long sleeve button up (the key is to keep it plain and simple)
- NO t-shirts or short sleeves are acceptable – Pants must be long below the ankles
- Conservative tie : No bright colours or pictured ties or strong patterns- again keep it simple
- Shoes: You MUST wear professional shoes (closed black or brown formal shoes)
- Jewellery: Very limited jewellery
- Aftershave: Go easy on the aftershave as this is not everyone’s cup of tea, be considerate of the interviewer
- Hair: Keep it neat and styled.
Now that you know what an interviewer looks for in your first impressions it’s time for you to take your first steps in making sure you successfully give a good and lasting first impression.
Sylvia Koutsoubaris, Recruitment Consultant.