What to wear to an interview?
You have taken the time to craft your CV, write your cover letter and send off your job application. And drumroll … you’ve managed to score an interview!
It’s key to research the company and have a think about common interview questions, but what is also important is your choice of clothing. First impressions always count! While we know that your ability to do the job is of course the most important element, your appearance reflects several key attributes, such as preparation, tidiness and cultural fit.
To help, here are some tip on what how to prepare for your interview:
Plan ahead of time
It’s important to allow yourself plenty of time to choose your ensemble in advance. Firstly, planning your outfit enables you to deal with any wardrobe mishaps; it demonstrates that you’re taking the interview process seriously and have prepared in advance. Leaving yourself a creased shirt or a pair of dirty shoes as your only option says to your interviewer “I’ve not really prioritised today’s meeting”.
Secondly, outfit preparation lets you relax on the day of your interview. You don’t want to be rushing as your haste is likely to follow through to your interview, and recruiters will be able to sense it. But if you plan ahead, you will be able to don your outfit at a relaxed pace and go over your interview preparation notes one last time.
Look into the company
When deciding what to wear to an interview, it’s vital to consider the company in question. Most organisations now provide plenty of details about who they are as a brand via their website. Check out their ‘About Us’ or ‘Meet the Team’ sections and see if you can get a feel for their personality.
Many offices and corporate environments operate with traditional business attire, in which case you can go for a conventional look; think tailoring, suits, shirts, ties, dresses, blazers and (polished!) leather shoes.
However, if the company interviewing you is more creative, you can opt for something a little more casual and in keeping with their brand.
Be a company chameleon – blend in!
Err on the side of caution
If you are not sure what to wear for your interview, it’s better to play it safe as it takes just seconds to make an impression. If you turn up to your interview slightly overdressed, you’ll be fine; the interviewer will see you have made an effort and are keen to create a positive impression. But if you arrive underdressed, you will appear uncaring and badly prepared – not getting the process off to a great start.
Be comfortable in your outfit
With dress code discrimination a hot topic right now, it’s key that you feel comfortable in your interview outfit of choice. Your interviewer will be able to tell if you are uncomfortable in your clothes. Try on your entire ensemble before D day to not only make sure that it isn’t too big or small but also to ensure you feel relaxed in it.
Make sure you’re well-groomed
It’s not only about how well presented your outfit it, it should go without saying personal hygiene is a must!
Again, your physical appearance reflects how seriously you’re taking the role. Just like with well-presented clothes, your personal hygiene demonstrates you’ve left yourself plenty of time to prepare for the interview.
Also, it’s a good idea not to go overboard on perfume or aftershave; it can be overpowering, especially in a confined interview room. If your interviewer is sensitive to smells you don’t want to cause them discomfort and distract them from the task in hand.
Ultimately, your ability to do the job is going to be the deciding factor in being offered in the role, but it’s key to remember how you present yourself reflects your interest in the role. A rushed approach to getting ready is more likely to result in being late, stressed and anxious. However if you’ve left yourself plenty of time, including ensuring your outfit is clean and ready, chances are you’ll be on time, relaxed and ready to impress!
Good luck with your job hunt, and if you’re looking for the next step in your career, do check out our latest vacancies!