As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And the way you’re dressed for an interview speaks volumes about you before you’ve even had the opportunity to open your mouth.
You might have spent days preparing killer answers to potential questions and polishing up on your S.T.A.R technique. But if you look as though you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards on your way there, you may have already blown your chance.
That said, there’s no need to worry or stress about it. Dressing correctly for the role at interview is actually quite simple. Here’s how to get it right and knock the socks off your future employer.
Do Your Research
How you dress at an interview is not a chance to show off your knowledge of cutting-edge fashion. It’s actually the first opportunity you have to say “I’ve done my research and I get your business”.
How? Well when it comes to work attire, each company has their own take on it. Some offices are completely casual, meaning no one will bat an eyelid if you rock up in flip flops and a Hawaiian vest (that’s not to say you ever should at an interview). Others are seriously smart, meaning nothing short of a full suit will do.
Find out beforehand what the company culture is and dress to reflect that. If people wear suits or dresses, then wear a suit or a dress. If they wear t-shirts and jeans then do the same, just go for smart ones, not your everyday loungers. You’re immediately demonstrating a level of understanding of the business and showing that you’re able to fit in.
A quick search online should give you a good indication, but if you’ve checked and still can’t figure out what threads to wear, don’t be scared to simply enquire. Give the recruiter, interviewer, or HR department a quick call and literally ask what will be appropriate.
Make Sure You're Presentable
You might be sporting all of your best clobber, but if it’s shabby and dishevelled then it’s a wasted effort. You don’t need expensive gear, so long as you make sure what you do wear is presentable.
A good idea is to put your outfit together a few days beforehand. Try it all on and double check to make sure it’s clean and in good shape. That way if something is looking a bit worse for wear or has developed an unexpected stain or mark, you have time to replace it.
Give everything the once over and a solid steam with the iron to guarantee it’s looking sharp and wrinkle-free. And don’t forget your footwear. Whether you opt for a smart shoe or a casual pair of kicks, be certain they’re sparkling clean and polished.
Choosing an ensemble that makes you feel awkward or self-conscious could spell bad news for your interview performance. The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable as it’s sure to knock you right off your game. There are some great strategies to help you avoid that uneasy feeling.
Don’t wear anything you haven’t worn before. If you need to purchase something, do it in enough time to give it a dry run so you’re not putting it on for the first time on the day.
Don’t wear anything that doesn’t fit properly. If it’s too tight or overly baggy then you won’t feel or look at your peak.
Don’t wear anything that’s not “you”. Wearing something that’s completely against your look will instantly take you out of your comfort zone. Work within the expected parameters to find something that hits the mark. And if you can’t, then perhaps you should consider if the role or office is right for you in the first place.
How to Dress for your Interview with Phaidon International
Recruitment relies a lot on making a good first impression, so don’t be afraid to dress to impress when you come to see us. We don’t expect you to break the bank on a suit or dress, just make sure you look professional and polished.