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Career Advice

Basic tips on Dressing for Interviews

interviewimageIf you’ve been invited for interview, chances are you will spend quite a bit of time on the preparation – from researching the company, to rehearsing the answers you will give to the most typical interview questions. Whilst these are of course vitally important, there is another area that you should not forget about – that old chestnut – what are you going to wear? We’ve put together some basic tips on dressing for interviews that should hopefully help.

First Impressions Count

From the moment the interviewer casts their eyes on you, they will be forming an opinion about you. It’s essential therefore that you ensure that their opinion is a positive one. Whilst your body language and how you greet them is of course a major contributory factor in this, so too is what you wear. From a basis perspective, this means that you should always ensure that your attire is clean, freshly ironed and of course entirely in keeping and appropriate for the particular work environment that you are in.

Conservative over casual

If you are at all in doubt about what to wear, one basic piece of advice which will serve you well is to err on the side of caution. In essence this means to dress smarter than you normally would and to dress perhaps a lot more conservatively. Whilst your casual clothing may make you feel comfortable, it is nonetheless not appropriate in most interview situations. Also, don’t necessarily plan your outfit based on what you see their typical employees wearing. The difference between them and you is that they already have the job! If you want to convey a professional appearance, leave the casuals at home.

The little things matter

They say that accessories can make or break an outfit and this is no different when it comes to interview wear. Extravagant jewellery, novelty ties or outlandish scarves may help you stand out from other candidates although this won’t necessarily be in a good way. They can serve to be a distraction to the interviewer and can actually detract from what you are saying. Simple, plain jewellery and more classic accessories will generally convey a much more favourable impression to the interviewer.

The basics

As we’ve already mentioned, your interview clothing always should be ought be clean and freshly ironed. Also, it should most certainly fit! A gaping shirt or a skirt which appears shorter than you’d like when you’re sitting down should certainly not be worn. Choose an outfit that makes you look professional and which you feel comfortable in. If you are forever having to tug at your skirt hem or ensure that your tie is covering that gap in your shirt then you will be distracted from answering the questions and in turn not giving your all to the interview. In terms of colour, once again the more conservative and neutral choices tend to be better choice – navy, black and grey etc. Of course in some sectors, for example in the creative industries, you may find that you can afford to show a little creative flair in your dress – a colourful accessory or less formal shirt perhaps; however generally speaking the more traditional interview attire will be what is expected by most employers.

We hope that these basic tips for dressing for interviews will help. Got any others that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments below.

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