Your interview is a make or break situation. This includes your communication, posture, and outfit. As they say, ‘you are what you wear’.
So, make sure your attire:
1) Pays tribute to the industry and title you are applying for. Before trying to put together what to wear, check that your get-up equals the job title. A position in Sales would greatly differ from when you are applying as a Web Designer or Chemical Engineer.
2) Represents you. You need to be comfortable with what you are wearing. If anything in your entire ‘get-up’ makes you feel awkward, ditch it and replace it with another.
3) Doesn’t need to break your bank. You just need to make sure you dress up well but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Choose a fit that’s perfect for your build. Don’t make it seem like it’s borrowed from somebody else.
4) Leans towards the simple and basic. This is especially true if you are not sure of the clothing preference of the company, or the recruitment specialist to say the least.
5) Is culture sensitive. You may not know of the company culture, but it is easy to research the regional culture. Do not wear anything which the interviewer may find offensive.
Here are additional tips, specific for all the ladies out there:
1) Go for a classy professional look. At the end of the day, it is a business meeting not a party. Wearing something flashy with too many accessories is not exactly what we recommend you wear.
2) Favor the nude/neutral colors. Use a foundation that matches your skin tone, and either earth or subdued tones for the eyes and cheeks. Cover the dark circles with a concealer to appear rested.
3) Your outfit need not be boring. If you are the fashionable type, you can opt for ‘power dressing’ the Victoria Beckham’s way. Don’t shun away from a printed skirt or trouser provided it’s balanced out by a plain top or vice versa.
4) Wear something that extends to the knee. If for make-up less is more, it is the opposite in terms of clothing. Your get-up must not steal the attention from what you have to offer: your expertise and capabilities.
5) Spray a sweet scent, but only a little of it. Most interview rooms are a bit tiny. You wouldn’t want the hiring manager rushing to end the interview simply because the smell is overwhelming.
As for the gents, here are a couple of pointers to consider:
1) Wear a suit that suits you. Navy blue and black colors are standard colors, but if you feel you’ve got what it takes to wear more daring colors such as dark maroon, or moss green, go ahead.
2) Tie or no tie. It depends on the type of interview, if casual or formal. If you are not sure, the question you need to ask yourself should better be, ‘Do I wear a standard or a skinny tie?’ Definitely, no bow ties, please.
3) Don’t go grungy. Make sure to sport a clean shave and not a week of stubbles. You want to appear presentable and respectful to your interviewer.
4) Do a slight pat of aftershave. If you are used to smearing your aftershave all over, this time, you should limit it. You want a hint of smell and not something overbearing.
5) Go leather. We see a few contemporary styles where sneakers/trainers/rubber shoes (whatever you call it) are paired with suits. Once you are in, and nothing in the dress code says you can’t wear it, you can go ahead and sport it. For your interview, however, standard leather shoes would be more appropriate.
Clothing may be a sensitive topic most especially if you consider this as self-expression. However, try to make it through the interview first. Seal the deal, and once in, you can slowly usher in your personal touch provided it adheres to the company standards.
In the job landscape, recruiters acknowledge that hard skills are nothing without an employee’s soft skills, sometimes, even most important in a resume. What used to be black and white in employability skills are now introduced with gray areas that we need to take notice of.