How you dress for a job interview could be far more important than you think. No matter who you are, your appearance is the first thing that people will notice about you, and first impressions are usually formed within the first seven seconds of meeting someone – according to this article by Forbes Magazine. Therefore, you need to ensure that the clothes you wear are sending the right message to your potential employer.
The formal interview
As a ‘rule of thumb’ you should aim to dress slightly more formally than you usually would for work. This of course means for the job that you are being interviewed for. For clues on this you could take a look at the company’s social media for any office pictures, or even try and get a glimpse of people leaving the business at closing time, it’s probably best you don’t sit outside the offices with a pair of binoculars though! Generally, for both men and women, a suit will be most appropriate.
Fashion trends may come and go, but a classically tailored suit never goes out of fashion, as Yves Saint Lauren said “Fashions fade, style is eternal”.
You have the obvious choice of trousers or skirt, or even a tailored dress. Apparently, the rule with a skirt or dress is that the hemline should never be more than the length of a biro pen above the knee (please don’t get pen on your knees though!). When it comes to colour, you can’t really go wrong with black. Don’t be too outlandish with your choice of shoes, and keep the height of your heels to a sensible minimum.
Stick to the classics, you won’t go far wrong with a black, navy or grey cotton (not linen!) suit. Twinned with either brown or black leather shoes, and please, please polish them! It’s usually best to go for a plain shirt and tie that complement each other and the suit, nothing too distracting, and for goodness sake please no cartoon ties or socks!
These two words seem to fill many people with dread and panic. However, for both men and women, casual trousers and blazers can be mixed and matched, your tie removed, and even your shoes can be less formal. But if that still seems confusing, just follow these rules:
- Do not wear jeans.
- Do not wear trainers.
- Do not wear T-shirts.
Also, if you get the chance, try on your outfit a couple of days before your interview, that way you will be able to get any dry cleaning done or come up with a back up outfit if something doesn’t fit properly, or has a hole or tear in it.