Job interviews are nerve racking enough let alone figuring out what to wear.
Don’t potential employers focus on your qualifications, experience and skill set? Of course. It’s an integral part of the interviewer’s process. But how do you prepare? As the candidate, you’ve spent hours making sure your curriculum vitae is top notch; that your strengths and attributes are featured in the very best light. You have edited, and reread your resume countless times searching for typos. You might practice responses to potential interview questions or behavioral situations. All good pre interview prep!
But what about your interview attire and why is that important? Simply because this is the first time you will meet your interviewer face to face.
Remember: They have already reviewed your resumé. You are a bona fide candidate.
Now it’s the crucial “first impression” time - which is nearly impossible to reverse or undo.
Olga Manzoni, founder of Avanti Coaching and a human resource expert for more than 25 years believes, “What you wear to an interview communicates that you value the opportunity and respect the interviewer and the process. Your choice of dress can also be viewed as an example of your decision making skills”.
So what should one do?
Here are eight key interview wardrobe tips to the rescue:
• Select colors that flatter your eye color and skin tone.
• Make sure your attire is spotless, ironed and free of stray threads.
• Don’t wear clothing that is dated, too tight or revealing.
• Ensure what you wear fits you perfectly. A good tailor is your friend.
• Avoid bold prints or patterns that may be distracting
• Keep accessories simple. Go for subtle and quality pieces.
• People look at shoes! Make sure they are appropriate and in top condition.
• Remember personal hygiene: Hair style, nails, polished makeup, groomed facial hair.
What do you actually wear to an interview? Firstly, dress for the position you want and if you don’t know what that looks like – find out.
Research the company culture. Is it corporate or a creative environment?
Check out their website and search for photos of company employees. How are they dressed?
The next step is to plan your attire. Don’t wait until the night before to discover you don’t have the right outfit. The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable about how you look during the interview!
A navy or grey suit is the standard and safe choice. Today, the essential item is the blazer. Invest in a current, classic blazer style which creates the finishing piece to most ensembles and gives an air of formality and respect.
Men’s Interview Attire: A navy blazer or suit, white dress shirt, a tie and dress pants. Finish with quality, stylish shoes.
Women’s Interview Attire: A navy blazer or suit, formal top or blouse, dress pant or mid length skirt. A business style dress is also appropriate. Business footwear - mid heel or flat.
Ultimately, what you wear to an interview can be a valuable asset and the silent ace in your favor. Be certain to give your interview wardrobe the importance it deserves.