Not so long ago almost everyone wore business suits to job interviews. However over the years, our society and life style has become less conservative when it comes to dress code. Those changes have lead to a confusion of what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to wear to an interview.
Just because your future boss is wearing a simple tee and jeans doesn’t mean you should dress the same when going to an interview. Never, ever! It might not have to be a suit but dressing smart is a very important step to a successful interview. Don’t underestimate the power of the first impression.
Whether you like it or not, your appearance is the first thing people notice about you! It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance and your body language.
These first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important. We all know the saying: There is no second chance for the first meeting!
Impressions about you and your image are based on how you look, talk or behave and therefore represent yourself. An overall great impression consists of a variety of factors including your clothing, grooming, facial expression and social behaviour. Appearance does affect hiring decisions and plays a major role, so think twice about your outfit for your first interview and dress how you would like to be seen.
Dress for your audience and avoid distractions. The hiring agent wants to be assured that you will fit within the team and can present yourself in front of clients.
You want your audience to be paying attention to your presentation, not your clothes. If the only thing they can remember about you at the end of the day is the tropical shirt you wore, you are in trouble.
Wear well-tailored pants and shirt or suit if needed. Keep it simple, but not boring. Simple colour shirt and smart work pants. If you wear glasses, keep the lines clean; don’t wear funky-coloured frames Avoid shirts or ties that are too colourful and have too much print. Simple is better for your first impression. Keep your documents and personal items in one bag that’s clean and simple. “The more items you have to bring in, the more likely you’ll fumble and look unorganized. And yes, there is nothing wrong with a ‘man bag’. Look professional. Asking for money is much easier when you dressed accordingly to their expectation. Show them that you’ll be as meticulous with their time and money as you are with yourself. Make sure you have a decent haircut and trimmed facial hair Wear clean and polished shoes, not scuffed or dirty. Pant and skirt (for ladies) hems should be secure. I have met business people that wear suits that are two/three sizes too big, have an embroidered visible logo from old company or with white tennis socks. As unbelievable as it sounds, if your clothes don’t convey the message that you are competent, able, ambitious, self-confident, reliable, and authoritative, nothing you say or do will overcome the wrong first impression others form of you. There is no such thing as being overdressed.
Beate de Camp
Be Divine – Fashion, Home, Style, You