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Career Advice

What to Wear for Interview – The Employable’s Top Tips

Over the past while we’ve given our fair share of tips for interviews – from how to answer the most common questions through to how you should focus on your body language. However there is another element that’s pretty important too – what you should wear. Whilst for some people it may seem pretty much common sense, for many others, figuring out what to wear can be a real headache. In a bid to help, we’ve put together our basic tips for “What to Wear for Interview.”

First Impressions Count
Don’t underestimate the impact of the first impression. As soon as the interviewers cast their eyes on you, they are already forming an opinion of you, before you have even said a word. If your appearance is not what they would expect, then you could be already at a disadvantage.

Err on the side of caution
In an interview it’s always better to dress smarter than normal if you are at all in doubt. It’s to be expected that candidates attending interview will dress pretty conservatively and doing so will never be a bad thing. If you dress too casually, it actually can convey the impression to the employer that you don’t really care.

The small things can be the big things
If you’re a woman, choose the accessories you wear for interview carefully. Leave the ridiculously large earrings, over-sized rings and masses of jangling bangles and bracelets behind. Wearing them will just be a distraction to the interviewer. Yes, they make you stand out, but for all the wrong reasons. Wear more simple and classic accessories and leave the rest at home. If you’re a man, you don’t get off lightly here either. Even if your favourite tie is the Donald Duck one that your Auntie Mabel bought you last Christmas, it shouldn’t be worn at interview. And those novelty socks won’t do you any favours either. Plainer and more traditionally conservative ties and socks will give a much better impression to the interviewer.

The sit-down test
When getting ready for interview, it pretty much goes without saying that you will have checked out how you look in the mirror. However standing preening and posing is not really how an interviewer is going to see you, is it? During an interview you’re going to be sitting down, and things won’t look quite the same. If you’re a woman, that skirt may seem much shorter than you’d like once you’re seated and if you’re a man, perhaps the shirt that gapes open reveals a little more about you than you’d hoped for. Have a seat and check out your chosen outfit and if it’s not working, choose something else.

The practicals
Man or woman, the clothes you wear at interview have to be clean and freshly ironed. Creased clothes are never a good look. Also, in terms of what exactly to wear, the standard interview attire of suit, shirt and tie for men usually does the trick, provided it is clean, fits properly, and is not too outlandish in colour! For women, a jacket with trousers or skirt works well, again provided it is in a fairly neutral colour ( black, navy, grey etc), the skirt isn’t too short, trousers are of a normal length (leave the cropped ones at home!) and that any blouse or top worn underneath is not too low cut and revealing.

Showing some flair
For job interviews in the more creative sectors, it is understandable that you may want to differentiate yourself, and show a little of your creative and artistic flair with your interview attire. However it’s still best to dress in a more formal way and perhaps add a little twist through a coloured accessory you wear if you’re a woman or a less formal shirt if you’re a man. Even the most relaxed workplaces would still expect someone attending interview to have put in some effort, so casuals are a no go.

We hope these tips help you out next time you are planning your interview attire. We’d love to hear your thoughts too though. Do let us know any of your interview fashion tips via the comments section below.

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Still feel that you need more interview advice? Check out Anson Reed, specialists in online interview training and 1-2-1 Interview coaching.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] = Dress code. This is always worth finding out about if you are lucky enough to be offered ‘that […]

  2. […] Dress for success Even though you are not meeting the interviewer face to face, it is still important to look the part. Whilst doing a video in your PJs may be comfortable for you, it certainly won’t convey a good impression to the interviewer. Dress as you would for a standard interview. Being dressed in more formal interview attire will actually help you get into the mindset of being at interview, irrespective of the fact that you are actually being interviewed from home! We’ve previously highlighted some basic tips on how to dress for interview. […]

  3. […] regardless of how impressive their CV may appear to be. Some things are pretty much a given – dressing inappropriately, turning up late or using swear words are all surefire ways to fail an interview. There are other […]

  4. […] for interview. Consider all the practical elements relating to your interview. Have you sorted out what to wear? How will you get to the interview location? If you’re using public transport have you checked […]

  5. […] Interview attire obviously varies depending on the type of job you are applying for. For example, in the creative industries you may be able to wear something that is a little less conservative that reflects your creative flair and personality. In most cases however it is best to err on the side of caution and wear quite traditional office-wear. However regardless of what sector it is, there are still some general rules which must be adhered to so that you are dressed to impress. Your clothes should be clean, free from creases and not showing signs of wear and tear. What you wear can make an immediate impact on the first impression that an employer gains of you, so don’t neglect this! […]

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