Apprenticeships, internships, and jobs (part-time and full-time) all require interviews, in some form or another – giving the right impression is vital to securing your place on some sort of ‘shortlist’ in the employer or interviewer’s mind. Of course, appearance isn’t everything, but if you are one-in-100 being interviewed, you need to stand out for all the right reasons.
Below, I’ll talk you through some of the basics for dressing for an interview.
- It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
- Linked to Rule 1, dress appropriately for the role. If you arrive at an interview for a Business Administration role dressed in khakis, steel toe-capped boots, and a shirt, you’re pretty much guaranteed to not get the job. However, if you arrive at a Construction or Building job interview wearing a suit and brogues, your chances of getting the job are not affected. Research (and common sense) is required.
- If in doubt, ask the employer! If you’re not sure what is expected of you, then an email to HR of the company asking about the correct interview attire for the role will not go against you, and may actually show the employer that you’re serious about giving them the right impression and that you’re eager to please.
- Don’t go overkill on accessories and distracting items of clothing – bright colours and lots of jewellery are generally a no-no. Jingling your way into the interview room isn’t professional, or necessary.
- Have a facial piercing or visible tattoo? Cover it up or take it out. While some companies are more forward-thinking than others, you can’t always be sure, and you don’t want that tattoo from ‘Maga 2k10’ ruining your chances at that dream job.
- Along the same lines as Number 5, if you have bright hair or a wacky hair-style – make it conservative for your interview. If you’re successful, then you may ask about what’s acceptable and what’s not.
- If you’re a man, you don’t necessarily have to be cleanly shaven, due to the acceptability of facial hair in the work place nowadays, but make sure your beard or moustache is well-groomed and neat.
- Make-up should be ‘natural’ and not showy. If you’re wearing too much make-up, chances are it’s going to have moved from how you originally applied it – smudged lipstick or eyeliner does not look good. Don’t take that risk!
- In terms of your clothing itself – wear ‘traditional’ suit colours; black, navy or grey – and make sure your jacket and trousers/skirt match. A well-fitted suit is best, too baggy or too tight can look unprofessional, and may make you feel uncomfortable. The situation is nerve-wracking enough, without worrying whether your trousers will split when you sit down. Your shirt should be buttoned to the top, with a tie and for women, never wear a low-cut top or a shirt with buttons that could pop open. A good suit is an investment, and having one ready for any short-notice interviews may be a good idea. Shoes should match your clothing, and should be formal. Don’t wear high-heeled shoes, falling over isn’t a good start, and again, you don’t want to be focusing on how to walk or on that foot-pain, more than on the interview itself.
- Keep cologne and perfume to a minimum, don’t wear overpowering scents – your interviewer could be allergic, or just might not like the smell, it could be very distracting.
Now your outfit has been sorted, you can focus on company research and perfecting that handshake – good luck!
If you need anymore help on preparing for Job Interviews, our online Interview Skills course is only £10.00.
Words by: Lauren Bycraft