Dress for Success: Tips for Job Interviews

We are all familiar with the adage ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. It is true that appearance is ultimately superfluous, but there is no escaping the fact that it has an effect, especially initially. In a job interview situation, the way you present yourself is an important factor in the overall impression you portray. You could be responding brilliantly to their questions, but if your interviewer is distracted by the birds nest on your head and the evidence of lunch around your mouth, your efforts will be futile. The reality of the matter is that is a person looks as if they take care of themselves, they convey the subliminal message that they are more likely to take care in other areas of their life, including their job. Here are a few basic guidelines for ensuring you present yourself favourably.

It may seem an obvious point, but it is important that you dress appropriately. Not all jobs will call for a suit-and-tie get-up everyday, but it is always best to err on the smart side on first introduction. If you look well put together, you give the impression that you take yourself seriously – not in a negative way, but in an I-can-be-relied-upon way (always helpful when you are trying to convince someone to give you a job). It is best to lean towards simple items of clothing with clean-cut lines. Avoid garish prints and shapes, outrageous colours and anything too fussy. T-shirts with contentious slogans are an absolute no-no. Basically, you don’t want anything you’re wearing to be a distraction for your interviewer. Think of your clothes as a frame and yourself as the picture: the frame can be attractive and understated, but its function is ultimately to draw attention to the brilliance of the picture: you, in other words. That is not to say, however, that you should dispel with your individuality completely. A couple of discreetly placed accessories can hint at personality and add interest.

Secondly, make you what you are wearing is comfortable. It is no secret that clothes enhance the way you feel in any given situation; if you are heavily constricted, and in pain from that darn seam digging in, you are more likely to be flustered and thrown into a state of anxiety. If you are physically comfortable when interviewing for jobs you will be more inclined to feel at ease and more able to focus on the job interview questions being thrown at you.

Your pre job interview grooming should, of course, extend beyond what you are wearing. It is no good turning up in a bespoke, beautifully tailored masterpiece if your face and hair still make it look like you spent last night sleeping in ditch. Make sure your hair looks tidy and is away from your face: not only does good facial exposure allow for heightened expressivity, but constantly flicking wayward strands of hair from your eyes will eventually become very irritating for both for you and your interviewer. For the women, if you are wearing make up, it is important to not go overboard. Just as you should shy away from wearing clothes with excessively bold colours, so should you avoid putting said colours on your face. It all goes back to the being taken seriously issue: if the amount of blusher you have on makes you look like a clown, your interviewer may be inclined to treat you as such. In case of doubt, a couple of coats of mascara, a dab of concealer in crucial areas and a lick of a neutral lipstick will serve to make you look fresh-faced and groomed.

With sensible dressing, a quick sprucing up, and of course a wealth of perfectly-prepared interview questions responses, you are sure to come across as an exemplary candidate in any job interview, hopefully enabling you to make the job a good’un!

We have many more Career Help Articles Now Available.