Interviews – Look your best for that important meeting.
Preparing for an interview can be a stressful experience. If you think about it, you have one hour (on average) to demonstrate all of your value to an individual you are meeting for the first time. And, it all has to relate to the job your applying for. Interviews are rarely easy – from either side – because often one has not previously met the person they’ll be interviewing with. Yet you still have to be at your best. One thing is for sure, the more you practice and prepare, the better you will perform. And, because everything matters, be sure to give serious consideration to what you plan on wearing. As trivial as it sounds, your clothes can do as much harm as good depending on what you choose to wear. The interview process is a formal one. The formality of it reflects its importance. One side of the desk is looking for quality talent to join an organization and the other side of the desk is seeking an opportunity to use his or her professional talent for compensation. Each are considering whether they want to spend forty hours of each week working with each other. There is no trivial way to look at it from either side. There’s a lot weighing on the candidate’s performance and everything is noticed. You can almost compare it to a first date – the tension is almost as high. The difference is, on a first date nerves are taken into account and if there is any chemistry whatsoever, you will likely get a second chance.
Dress for the part.
While how you dress is not the most important factor in whether you are hired or not, it is high enough on the ‘what matters’ list. Fifteen years in recruitment has shown me enough to know it won’t hurt to give this subject a little face time.
What on earth to wear!?
Whenever someone asks me what they should wear to an interview my answer is usually a question: “What position is it for and where is the interview being held?” Unless it is in a casual environment (and there can be exceptions even for this) I say a suit. It’s an interview – a suit cannot look wrong. Wear a suit if you’re not sure. Otherwise, it should be obvious: – if you are auditioning as a clown for a circus – wear your clown suit. If you are interviewing for a banking position – dress like a banker.
Should you always wear professional business attire or a suit? Absolutely. Except for when you have an interview with a company that never wears business suits. Then you might wear something less formal. Neat and clean but it doesn’t have to be a suit – maybe a jacket or shirt/blouse with skirt/pants.
Can you wear jeans to an interview?
No. What if everyone in the company wears jeans to work? No. What if it’s for a construction site job? No. Never wear jeans to an interview. Period. Stand out as someone who respects the interviewer enough to have gone to the trouble of making yourself look your best.
Dress for Success!
Interviews – What Not to Wear
-(based on actual experience):
Avoid lace (anywhere visible)
Keep the skirt level longer than mini
Never wear shorts
Never wear open toe shoes
Don’t wear perfume
Never wear sandals (even with socks … especially not with socks!)
Never wear shorts
Never have more than one or two shirt buttons undone
Don’t wear comedic theme ties
Don’t wear a hat of any kind into the building
Don’t wear cologne