You never get a second chance to make a first impression, the saying goes. When you show up for an important job interview, you want your outfit to make a positive statement. Dress for success, and choose clothes which will present the professional, polished image that any company would be excited to hire.
You may feel overwhelmed with questions about exactly what image to present at the interview. Do you hide your true self by wearing something you would never wear in your non-work life? Do you go out and buy something you would never wear again just for the interview?
Relax. It’s not hard to make a professional impression without spending a fortune and changing your entire persona. With a little effort, you can look your best and still be yourself.
Here are six tips for dressing for success while looking for work.
1. Know Your Industry Culture
Do your homework. Before you go on a job interview, research the company culture. Different workplaces have very different standards on what is appropriate to wear on the job.
Law firms and banks tend to have conservative dress codes. Men should stick with white dress shirts, muted ties, and grey or blue suits if they are interviewing in these industries. Women should dress for success with skirts or suits that fall below the knee, medium height heels and a low-key palette.
If you are seeking employment in the tech industry, expectations may differ. In these workplaces, many employees show up for work in jeans and sneakers. Generally, it’s considered acceptable to dress up more for an interview than for a regular workday, but don’t overdo it if you are interviewing in a more casual industry.
If you are looking for a job in the fashion industry, on the other hand, you may want to show that you understand the importance of good design. Bring out your best if you are applying for a job at Vogue!
2. Save Fashion Risk-Taking For Another Time
Clothes are an integral part of your personality, and you may not want to hide your individuality just because you are on a job interview. You don’t have to change yourself into a completely different person.
However, you may want to save your most non-traditional fashion choices for another time and place.
Even if you are interviewing at a nightclub or theatrical company, clothes which are revealing or outrageous are not appropriate. Overly eye-catching clothes can distract from what you say and what you have to offer.
This company may have awesome outfits for a night out on the town, but you should err on the side of caution when you are choosing your job interview clothes.
3. Show Them You Have Made The Effort
Get a haircut and a manicure. Get your suit drycleaned and pressed before the big day.
These little efforts will add up to show that you care about the impression you make.
An interviewer may not even notice that you are cleanly shaven or that your pleats are freshly pressed. However, they will definitely notice if they are not!
Demonstrating that you have given the process some thought speaks volumes. Employers like candidates who are prepared.
4. Pay Attention to Detail.
You would be surprised at some of the small factors which can distract a recruiter when they are interviewing job candidates.
Bad breath is apparently more prevalent than you might think! And it can really hurt your chances of making a good impression.
Use some breath mints before the big interview. If you use minty gum, don’t forget to spit it out before you go in. It’s the little things like this that can make or break the deal!
5. Choose Something Comfortable
Stiletto heels may look sleek, but if they pinch your toes, exchange them for a more comfortable pair of pumps.
A pencil skirt may look attractive on a department store mannequin, but if you need to keep tugging the hemline down when you sit or walk, you should not wear it on a job interview.
If you want to really dress for success, choose an outfit that you don’t have to think about after you have put it on. If it itches, pinches or pulls, it is going to distract you from your mission of nailing that job.
There are many outfits you can choose which will look professional without making you suffer while you wear them. The interview process is nerve-wracking enough; don’t add more reasons to feel uncomfortable.
6. Wear What Makes You Feel Confident
The rules on how to dress for work have grown more flexible over the years. Casual Fridays are prevalent. Women have more choices than ever, from pants to dresses.
For a job interview, you should don attire which will give you the extra boost you need to walk in there a winner. Maybe you have a lucky scarf or pair of earings. Maybe your blue blazer is your “lucky jacket:” why not wear what will give you confidence?
You want to be hired based on your experience and potential. Unless you are interviewing to be a model, your outward appearance should really be secondary to what you have to offer in terms of your ideas, energy and skills.
However, looking good can make you feel good. If you feel sloppy, you may act that way. If you are embarrassed or self-conscious, you may be distracted from addressing the interviewer’s questions to the best of your abilities.
Choose an interview outfit which makes you feel good about yourself. Your confidence will shine through and inform the rest of the process.
Dress for Success by Looking Your Best at the Job Interview
By wearing your favorite professional outfit and presenting your very best self, you will have the confidence and self-esteem to go into the scary environment of an important job interview ready to give it your best try.
By being neat and clean, and observing some basic tenets of appropriate employee behavior, you will look like you will fit right in.
For more tips on how to dress for success, land the job of your dreams, and plan the upward trajectory of your carer, check out our website.