Like it or not, your appearance will be judged as an expression of who you are and your approach to your work. And before you get disillusioned and think interviews are just a beauty parade; they aren’t. However, the reality is that your clothes, hair and shoes will all be viewed as indicators of your status, self-confidence, self-care and self-worth.
Get the image right, and it will get you noticed. Your prospective employer will just feel that you “look right” and that they can see you in the job. However, get it wrong and you could find it difficult to overcome any negative preconceptions.
A well-groomed, professional appearance can demonstrate that you are serious about a position, as you’ve taken the time to prepare and look your best. Loud, flashy clothing and gaudy jewellery can give the impression that you are too much of an individualist and that you may have difficulty conforming to a company’s culture
- Ladies, no tight or sexy clothes! Let the interviewer see that you are professional. Dark-coloured suits featuring skirts or trousers are acceptable for interviews. If you wear a skirt, be sure it is at least knee-length and no shorter when you are standing. A tailored blouse that blends well with your suit is a good choice, and make sure your heels are not too high! Your make-up and jewellery should be conservative; and if you wear a dress, choose plain, neutral-colour tights with no discernible patterns.
- Men, remember that personal grooming is as important as what you’re wearing, remember to have a shave, hair cut and make sure your clothes are clean and well-ironed. Men should typically wear a matching, solid, dark blue or grey suit, avoiding lighter colours or earth tones. Stick to jackets featuring two or three buttons, and avoid vests or double-breasted jackets. White shirts are preferable, although pale blue is also acceptable. Avoid shirts with stripes or other designs or patterns. Choose a tie that works well with your suit, Wear dark-coloured (preferably black) shoes, belt and socks.
- Do have your outfit ironed and ready the night before. You don’t want to find yourself panicking about what to wear on the morning of the interview you want to be focused on the job and your experience.
- “Smart casual”. Some interviewers now ask for the smart-casual attire. This look allows you to create a professional image but also show your own personality and feel more confident in your appearance. You still want to look smart so definitely no jeans or trainers!