How to dress for an interview
By Rachael Bennett, Lincolnshire based Image Consultant and Professional Stylist
An interview can be a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. People are happiest when they have high levels of self-esteem and wearing the right clothes can really help boost confidence in interview situations. First impressions are based on how we look, talk and behave. Therefore, it is important that we create an image that we want to portray about ourselves. You wouldn’t turn up to a meeting with the wrong information and it is as important how you dress for your interview. Research from the University of California found that people make assumptions about others based on the following:
55% What they see
38% The tone of voice that is used
7% The words they hear you say
If we want to be taken seriously and give ourselves the best opportunity to progress in our careers, projecting a good image is very important. Firstly, I would recommend a classic plain well fitted suit in either grey, black or navy. Make sure your shirt is ironed and clean. Hang up your clothes the night before so you are not rushing around on the morning of your interview looking for your things.
When choosing a shirt colour I would recommend white or pale blue and make sure it is neatly tucked in. Ladies make sure your bra does not show through your shirt, wearing a nude seam free bra would be a recommendation. Let’s be honest, purple bra straps on show is not a good look for an interview! Also, check that your shirt does not pull at the bust, poppers can be inserted in the shirt to prevent gaping or alternatively wear a smart top without buttons that is not too revealing.
Like your first day at school, remember to clean and polish shoes the night before. For ladies, I would suggest a medium, heeled pointed court shoe in black. In the Winter wear a black tight if wearing a skirt and, in the Summer, a barely nude tight with a skirt. With trousers, the back of the trouser just clears the floor and the front should graze the top of the shoe. For men, matching black socks and black lace up well polished shoes. Wear a simple tie that works with your shirt. A pale blue tie and a white shirt is always a good combination. Avoid garish patterns or loud colours, ideally your tie should complement your suit and shirt. Ladies should keep make up simple and natural and also wear simple jewelry, for example a pair of pearl or diamond stud earrings.
Finally, for the Summer months a trench coat is a good light weight option and in the Winter months I would wear a fitted wool coat that you have run over with a sticky roller to remove any hairs or fluff. If you look smart and are well prepared you will feel confident and this will project a professional image to your potential new employer.
It is important to consider the nature of the position you are going for. If it’s a more relaxed, creative role a jacket may not be needed. Looking on the company website will help you to get a feel for how the staff dress, and then remember just to take it up a smarter notch for your interview.
I hope these tips have helped. Good luck!