Essential wardrobe tips for interviews

Many people think it’s important to “make a statement” and personalize their attire to stand out and be remembered in a job interview. But really, isn’t it much better to be remembered by what you said.. and not what you were wearing…?

Here are 5 things to think about, when putting your outfit together for what could be a life-changing meeting.

It’s all about the details

There will always be people who believe wearing Mickey Mouse or fluorescent socks with a business suit will make you look different, not too conservative and hence make you stand out from others, …
Of course, it’s fine to show some personality in the colour of a shirt, the pattern of a tie or scarf, or an eclectic piece of jewellery, but remember, the more conservative the industry, the more conservative your choice should be. All this will do otherwise, is make the recruiter worried you won’t send out the appropriate message to the types of clients that the position demands….which leads me to the next point…

Dress for your industry

While playing it safe works in conservative industries, such as hospitality, banking, law, and consulting, it could also signal being out of touch if you’re interviewing for more creative roles or casual environments.

Having said that though, I advise to never dress casually for an interview – even if you know that company employees routinely wear shorts and flip-flops to the office. You will end up just looking too sloppy as a job candidate….however, a formal business suit could make you seem stiff in that kind of environment.
So, in this case, opt for business separates, such as a sports coat and slacks or a skirt and sweater set (Casual Business Dress) for the actual interview and then adapt the attire once you’ve been offered the position..

Don’t expose too much..!

Even in a creative environment where you can dress more casually, you still want to look professional. Skirts too short, tops too skimpy, anything which show too much skin (even with a jacket on the top, it still needs to be substantial), or anything too tight (including you gentlemen! ) will look unprofessional.
When in doubt about an outfit, get a second opinion from a professional friend, ideally someone who works in the industry and the role you are targeting.

Stay up to date

Be aware of what the fashion is in your profession at the moment. Maybe go to the office before-hand, hang around outside the building before you have the interview to get an idea of how the employees dress. You could also get advice from someone currently working in your target company or industry because you want to look up to date. You want to be perceived as somebody who is on the ball on market expertise, knowledge of trends, and technical skills, and your look can support (and equally detract) from this message.

Remember the basics

Whilst you update your look, refine your choices for your target industry, and show a little personality, remember the basics:

  • You should look clean, pressed, and tailored.
  • Try on your interview clothes several days before the meeting so you have time to fix any loose buttons, iron out wrinkles, or get a new outfit altogether….after all it may have been a while since you’ve interviewed and your outfit may no longer fit!

Good luck!