Dressing Up For An Interview
If anything can send a shiver down your spine, it has to be an interview. While you are worrying about the questions they will ask and how to impress a panel or he who could be your next boss, they’ve already got you worked out based what you are wearing and your haircut. It is essential to dress up and look your professional best. Your appearance can make or break your interview. It’s just not good enough to turn up looking pretty or smart. There is a dress code for interviewees prospective employers expect their candidates to follow. What makes it so tricky is that it’s not written down. It comes from tradition and business etiquette. It is just another huge hurdle to get over if you really want that new position. Maybe these tips on how to dress to impress can help.
First Impression Counts
Your first impression on the interviewer determines the flow of the entire interview. In the initial few seconds, a good interviewer gets a rough idea of your character and work ethic and then they proceed accordingly. A clean, fresh look with the neat, sober dress and polished shoes along with an upright posture sends positive vibes to the person on the other side of the desk. He or she is more likely to outlook small flaws and shortcomings if they can see that you are trying and have potential. An interviewee with a casual look and sluggish posture gives the impression of a lazy and unprofessional work ethic. The interviewer will more than likely hone in on those minor issues and use them to put you on the spot and as the excuse to not employ you.
No doubt your qualifications and skills speak for themselves but still, your appearance predetermines your inner qualities. Your appearance speaks for your character and that first impression really counts.
Exhibit Your Skills
In an interview, how you present yourself matters a lot. Instead of focusing on your competency to carry out the job it’s often much better to show your basic skills such as how well you carry yourself, the way you speak and how good listener you are. These basic communication skills matter more than your actual job skills since how attentive you are demonstrates your attitude towards the job as a whole rather than just your professional competency. This important to employers who want team players in their businesses.
The way you dress to present yourself for the interview is all part of showing you are really interested in working for the company. Your experience and achievements are already well known because they are on your resume. They have helped you get to the interview stage. The interviewer already knows what you’ve done and what you can do, so it’s better to focus your efforts on displaying the skills that are not covered so overtly in a resume.
Formal attire for an interview is an indication of your professional attitude. It depicts how well you understand the decorum of the place and how much regard you have for their dress code and by default, the company itself. Dressing appropriately is a demonstration of your respect for the interviewer as well as the organization you are interviewing for.
Professional attire not only makes you presentable but being acceptably dressed boosts your inner confidence. It shows you are already attempting to fit in with the company’s expectations of its employees. The more you feel you fit in, the more secure you feel. It’s a psychological thing based around our desires to be accepted by the groups we want to be in. In this case, the group is that of your interviewer who wants to employ someone who has what is known as ‘employee fit’. He can always train you if you don’t have the knowledge or skills he needs to get a job done, but there’s no amount of training that can help you ‘fit’ in the company if you don’t have it. Dressing appropriately and more importantly, as expected, creates an aura of self-confidence and shows you already consider yourself part of the company.
Dress Code For Men
For an interview, wear a formal business suit with full sleeves and collar. Make sure the shirt is properly ironed. Not just the bits you can see. Add a decent tie with an Oxford knot and make sure the know sits on the top button of the shirt. Go for a plain dark tie or one with a subtle pattern. Bright colors, however nice, or not suitable formal attire in this instance. Match your belt with your suit and keep the buckle simple. If you know you often end up with shirttail out, buy a longer fit to securely keep it tucked in. Your trouser leg bottoms should sit on the top of your shoes. If they bend your pants are too long and too short, you can work out for yourself that it looks ridiculous. If your suit is dark blue to black, and it should be, make sure you wear dark cotton socks that match and not contrast. Quirky socks are great for the bar but not for a serious interview and they always show when you sit down.
Your shoes should, ideally be leather, and well-polished not scuffed. They will certainly get noticed by the interviewer.
Your personal hygiene, like how you dress, is a reflection of your personality. Don’t be tempted to ignore this crucial aspect of your overall presentation. Your hair and beard should be properly trimmed and neat, with your hair not over your shirt collar. If you are clean shaven, be very clean shaven. No morning or afternoon shadow. Your nails should also be clean, polished and trimmed. It goes without saying, no tattoos.
Pair your attire with a watch and remove any bands and rings, barring wedding rings, even those you wear on a regular basis.
Dress Code For Ladies
For an interview, ladies should opt for a skirt or trouser suit and pair it with a blouse. Avoid bright colors and loud patterns. Skirts should come to an inch below the knee and not be over tight across the thighs. Pantyhose is a must. Go for a light denier. Pair your outfit with the minimum of accessories. Keep jewelry modest and your perfume light. Go for light neutral makeup and avoid using glitters or shimmers. Similarly, go for shoes or pumps with a modest heel not sandals, boots or high heels. You there to work, not totter around. Aim for a classic and stylish look from top to toe. To top it all off, carry a briefcase for a professional look or a solid sensibly sized black bag coordinated with your shoes.
Personal hygiene is an essential aspect of personality and can never be ignored. Neatly manicured nails are a must. Apply a neutral nail color or clear coat after a nail buff. Your hair should be up, tied back or styled well short with no overly colorful tints or dyes.
Remember the simpler the better, so don’t overdo anything be it dressing or hairstyling. Appear formal yet natural so wear what is comfortable. The last thing you need during an interview is to be distracted because you are wearing something too tight or too loose or heaven forbid, too itchy. That’s the stuff of nightmares.
It is impossible to overestimate how creating a good first impression matters. In less than a second, an opinion, right or wrong, is formed as you walk through the door. Your interviewer will have checked you out top to bottom, before you’ve had a chance to shake their hand and sit down. It’s a stubborn opinion that is difficult to change once it’s formed. No matter how good you are at the job they are offering, if you turned up looking like you couldn’t care less, you won’t even have a foot in the door. So invest in a good interview outfit even if you get the job and you only ever wear it once, it will be a sound investment.