Shop the Edit: What to Wear for a Job Interview
Your Personal Best
Let me make one thing perfectly clear before we begin: the clothes you wear aren’t going to do the work for you. So don’t rush out and max out your credit card on designer clothes solely for the job interview for which you’re unprepared. Whatever you choose to wear for your interview, make sure that it represents who you truly are in the most suitable way for the situation. Dressing for a job interview is similar to picking your hair, make-up and outfit for a wedding or other big event. As tempting as it might be to try something new and different for a big event, either allow time in advance to test out the new look or refrain from trying anything too different in case it goes wrong. The basic idea of a job interview is to show off your personal capabilities to the best of your ability, while remaining natural and honest. This rule should also apply to your style choices for future interview job opportunities. You’re not going to fool anybody into thinking that you wear formal suits on a daily basis if it’s not your natural style. If you can’t walk in heels they're best avoided, rather than struggling to walk and looking ridiculously uncomfortable.
Is Formal Dress Always Necessary?
It isn’t always necessary to dress super formally for a job interview. But there are definitely certain rules by which you must abide. I’d recommend doing your research on the company first. So for e.g. a company like Richard Reed’s “Innocent Smoothies” is a calm, laid-back company with a focus on productivity and results rather than professional appearance. It is a well known fact that staff working at the main “Innocent” office are allowed to dress as they please, with some even working at their desks in their dressing gowns! So naturally, a company like this one wouldn’t be terribly upset if you weren’t wearing a strict shirt and tie when being interviewed. Similarly, what you will be expected to wear should you win the position, is a good indicator of what you should wear for your job interview.
Formal clothing isn’t essential for job interviews but looking smart, clean and presentable is essential! Put yourself in the position of the employer. Do you notice anything negative about your appearance or the outfit you plan to wear? It isn’t always necessary to wear formal wear, but you must dress respectfully. A great example of a simple but smart outfit that is both comfortable and practical consists of: a pair of black trousers, a black or white shirt, black shoes or boots and a tidy looking cardigan or blazer.
Shop the Edit: Job Interview Essentials
How to Dress for a Job Interview: Basic Styling Tips
• Read the brief. Check first to see if the company has issued any notes on dress code for interviewees. Not only is this helpful for you choosing what to wear, it also shows the company that you are able to follow simple instructions.
• Look respectable. Don’t show off too much flesh or display every piercing and tattoo you bear. Cover up as much as possible and if you try on a garment that makes you question your choice, it probably isn’t suitable.
• Keep your outfit simple: the interviewer should be able to focus on you, what you're saying and not feel distracted by what you’re wearing.
• Be clean: make sure that your clothes are clean and free from stains and odours.
• Give your garments a once over with the iron before heading out to your interview.
• If you get easily distracted by your hair, tie it up for the interview so that it isn't an irritating distraction.
• Rehearse! Rehearsing what you plan to wear is almost as important as planning what you’re going to say. You’d be amazed at how many people put themselves in a vulnerable position by going into an unfamiliar situation while wearing something they’ve never worn before. This might be new shoes, a new hairdo, a bolder make-up look, etc. The last thing you want is to have blisters on your feet from new shoes or smudged red lipstick and panda eyes.
• Less is more. Where possible, try not to go over the top with your make-up and choice of perfume – even if you like to load it on normally. Although many people love heavy make-up and strong scents, not everybody does. If you turn up to an interview wearing an overwhelming perfume that isn’t to the taste of the interviewer, it might prove off-putting and your application success may suffer as a result.
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