Research shows it takes a person just seven seconds to form a first impression. The first judgement the interviewer makes is based on how you look – i.e. your appearance, from hair to shoes, what you’re wearing, body language, your smile, even your hand shake and greeting.
If you’re making an effort to look the part, the hiring manager may already be impressed, and may be more likely to see you as the right candidate for the job. What impression would you like to make on your future employer?
- Smile – of course, the most important thing that you should wear to an interview is that big, friendly smile! We’re interested in your personality – let that shine through.
- Dress – in a manner that is professionally appropriate to the position for which you are applying. You want to represent the company brand image. If it’s a fashion retail position for example, research their website so you are familiar with the current fashion trend. Sexy is for the club, not for the interview so save the plunging neckline for the weekend. If in doubt, always dress in a professional manner.
- Wrinkles – the only wrinkles we want to see are the ones from your smile, not your clothes. Make sure you are running your steamer or iron over your outfit the night before, so you are ready to go in the morning.
- Hair, nails and makeup (if you wear it) need to be on point. Especially so, if you are interviewing via Skype as this is what they are basing their first impression of you on.
- Scent – don’t be sent away because of your scent. Make sure your perfume or cologne is subtle and not overpowering, you don’t want to suffocate the interviewers, especially in a small interview room.
- Footwear – take as much pride in your footwear as you would your outfit. Jandals are definitely out of the question. If you are wearing socks, check that you have a matching pair.
- Fresh breath is a great start, so a breath mint prior to the interview works well, but whatever you do, DON’T chew gum through the interview process!
- Dress for comfort – make sure you are comfortable, interviews are nerve-racking enough, don’t add the strain of an ill-fitting and restrictive outfit or shoes into the mix. It’s guaranteed to show in your body language.
- Tattoos and facial piercings – depending on the job you are applying for, these may be totally acceptable, however be wary of excessive facial piercings and/or tattoos. You should also be aware that some company’s have strict dress code policies and may be put off by visible tattoos and piercings. It may not be right, but unfortunately it’s true.
- Check yourself out in the mirror, a 360 degree view. Even better if you can do a twirl in front of an actual person who can give you honest feedback about your appearance.
Dressing appropriately for the job interview is an important aspect of introducing yourself, as essential as presenting your work experience and answering the interview questions.
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