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10 Tips on How to Dress for a Job Interview
February 10, 2015
You've got all the right skills for the job and your CV has got you through to the interview. Now to figure out what to wear. Here are my Top 10 tips on how to dress for a job interview.
Find out in advance what the company dress code is but always err on the side of over-dressing.
And always wear a jacket, no matter how casual the dress code is.
As a rule of thumb, stick to traditional business suit colours such as black, navy or grey: you can always add a little colour and personality using your accessories.
Make sure your shoes are spotless and polished and that your nails are clean and manicured.
Make sure your shirt is ironed and your hair is washed.
And make sure you've worn a good deodorant - interviews are stressful and make you perspire a lot more than you normally would.
Be very conservative with your smellies. It's not outside the realms of possibility that the interviewer might be allergic to strong scents. A clean smell is far better than an overpowering strong perfume. Again, deodorant is essential.
In a survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers, 70% claim they don’t want applicants to be overly fashionable or trendy and 65% say clothes can be the deciding factor between two similar candidates. So don't be too trendy. And don't be too casual.
Be yourself but remember that companies will want you to represent their corporate brand, not your own personal style. So best to cover up body piercings and tattoos and take a break from the false eyelashes, glittery nails, smoky eyes, night-out make-up, messy up-dos, unnaturally-coloured hair dyes, dangly earrings, eyeliner "wings" and orange tan!
6. Err on the side of modesty!
Have a try on session before the day itself and check yourself in front of a mirror as follows:
1. Sit down and check to make sure your shirt buttons aren't gaping and your skirt's not riding up to your hips.
2. Bend down as if you're picking a pen off the floor, and check if you're revealing cleavage.
No matter how fit your legs are, skirt lengths should be no shorter than an inch or two above the knee. And cleavage at an interview is a complete no no!
7. Emergency kit:
A compact umbrella will fit in your bag and save your hair if it rains. It's also a good idea to have a tissues and a spare pair of tights to hand.
And all that talking at the interview has been known to make some candidates get a tickle in their throat! So there's no harm in having losenges or a bottle of water in your bag if there's any chance this could happen to you.
8. Avoid wardrobe malfunctions!
Check yourself front (and back!) in a full length mirror before you leave. Have you removed all your tags? Are there stickers on the soles of your shoes?!
Of course now is not the time to try out a new pair of high heels that it turns out you can't really walk in. Or worse (as once happened to a client of mine) to find out on the way to the interview that those new lacy holdups don't actually stay up!!!
9. Finishing Touches:
With Irish weather being what it is, you'll probably need to bring a coat. If so, you'll probably be carrying it into the interview with you. An anorak or casual jacket looks all wrong with a stylish suit. So don't let your coat let you down.
A stylish zip-folder to carry your cv or portfolio is so much nicer than a plastic document wallet.
If your employer plans to send you out to meet their clients, they'll be looking out for these little details.
10. And last but not least....wear your manners and your smile :)
Remember many a good interview was ruined when the receptionist was asked for their feedback about a candidate who treated them rudely. Everyone you meet on the company's premises could have a say in whether you get the job. And could potentially end up being a colleague.
So smile and be nice, it might even help you feel more confident.
Best of luck,
If it's possible your choice of clothes is holding you back at interviews - or in your career - my Dress for Success package will give you the confidence of knowing you're looking your best. Click here to find out more.