Preparing the way we look for an interview is important. We need to impress, not just with the way we verbally present ourselves, but also in the physical way we present ourselves. Our dress sense says a lot about who we are. It is good to be unique and dress how we see fit. But we still need to fit into a certain category when targeting our interview audience. In the recent survey we carried out, employers stated that the way a prospective employee dressed was one of the key things they looked for at interview. It shows that they have considered the position, dressed appropriately, and that they are keen to make a good impression and are motivated.
So, what does dressing to impress mean? Simply, think of yourself as an interviewer. What would you expect from a candidate? The golden rule is to dress smart and professionally. The office you are going to may have a smart but casual rule, but still dress smart business for an interview. General rules for this are (will be dependent if male/female):
• Clean, ironed shirt
• Clean suit (trouser or skirt, make sure skirt no shorter than just above the knee, or you may encounter problems sitting/standing)
• Sensible tie (the ones with the clowns may show your humorous side, but not appropriate for interview!)
• Men – dark socks, top shirt button should be closed
• Ladies – opaque or clear tights (check for ladders)
• Clean, polished shoes – ladies – make sure you don a sensible heel length (the five inch black ones may look good, but if you can’t walk properly this only gives you something else to worry about)
• Make-up and jewellery – less is more! Go for the subtle approach
• Keep your hair neat and off your face. This will give the interviewer a clearer impression of your face, and you won’t be tempted to play with it; this is a sign of nervousness.
Arrange clothes the night before and check from the list about for any potential mishaps. Iron, polish and sew. Forward planning is the key to a good interview. This will leave you with less stress the following morning, and you will feel confident knowing you have made an effort.
Remember to also dress appropriately for a virtual interview. You won’t be seen (unless on Skype) but power dressing will give you more motivation and will provide you with a self-assured, “can-do” approach.