Choosing The Right Clothes For Your Interview
No matter how hard we pretend not to, all of us make assumptions based on our first impressions of people.
It’s human nature and something you can’t really stop yourself from doing. If you’re going for an interview, it’s really important you remember this. No matter how well you talk about your skills, you’ll struggle to get an interviewer on your side if you’ve turned up in faded jeans and a dirty hoodie. If you don’t make an effort, chances are they’ll decide right there and then that you’re not right for the job.
For a start, don’t try and do anything dramatic or different. An interviewer won’t be judging you on how fashionable you are (unless this is the kind of industry you work in, of course) and they’ll simply want to see that you have dressed smartly and have made an effort – this shows you’re taking the position seriously.
While new shoes may look smart, they’ll be no good if they’re pinching your feet and you’re struggling to walk properly. If you’re a woman, don’t be tempted to wear very high heels – you never know how long you’ll be standing around for or how far you’ll have to walk.
While a suit for men or a skirt/trousers and blouse for women are both very good outfits, it is important to take the weather into consideration. Women should add a smart cardigan or jumper over their top if it’s cold, while men should stay away from thick cotton or heavy shirts in summer – no interviewer wants to speak to someone who is sitting in front of them sweating profusely. Dress smartly, but be comfortable and temperature appropriate.
Tights or no tights?
Should women wear tights? Are bare legs OK? These are questions a lot of women ask themselves. Basically, it depends on the skirt or dress you’re wearing. As a general rule, these shouldn’t be shorter than just above your knee for an interview. If your skirt is this length, then black tights should be worn. If your skirt is below your knee and it’s a warm, summery day, bare legs will be fine. You can always wear nude-coloured tights if you’re unsure.
There is nothing wrong with adding a little colour to your outfit, as long as it’s not too bold or brash. Colours to stay away from are hues such as bright orange, hot pink, lime green and very vibrant reds.
Your suit should be grey, black or navy and you can always add a little colour with your shirt and tie – a soft blue shirt with a patterned blue and navy would look nice. Make sure the patterns on the tie are subtle – no comedy Homer Simpson or piano key ties.
Skirts or trousers should be black, navy or dark grey. A cream blouse will look nice with these, while introducing a little pattern with a polka dot blouse would work well. A coloured handbag or a blouse with a bit of coloured detailing would also work.
Makeup, jewellery and facial hair
There is nothing wrong with facial hair on men, but ensure it is trimmed and well groomed. If you have long hair, tie it back.
Some jewellery is fine but it should be subtle and not too showy. Remember – this isn’t a fashion show. Earrings, a necklace and a ring would be fine, but don’t wear loads of bangles that will jingle all the way through the interview. Don’t choose any jewellery that is too big or over-the-top – cocktail rings are for nights out, not interviews. If you have facial piercings you can’t take out, ensure the jewellery you wear is as small and subtle as possible.
When it comes to makeup, apply it subtly. False eyelashes, bright red lipstick and layer upon layer of blusher are not suitable for an interview. Although makeup can obviously enhance your appearance, you don’t want to look like you’ve slapped it on as you would before a night out.
You need to show that you understand the company’s image and that you can be trusted to represent the brand properly through the clothes you wear. Dressing smartly for your interview will demonstrate this – remember you can always dress down a little bit when you’ve secured the position if the company has a more relaxed uniform policy.
This has been a Guukle guest post
This guest blog was contributed by Shauna Willis, a freelance writer who aims to help you find Jobs Direct From Employers and get into work as quickly as possible.
Image license: Creative Commons image source