So you’ve finally landed yourself an interview at the corporation of your dreams and now you’re a bundle of nerves! You know first impressions matter a great deal at such times and are shuddering at the thought of going wrong with that! It is, however, extremely normal to feel that way, especially if you’re someone who actually cares enough to try and dress to impress.
We live in times when jobs are few, but contenders are aplenty. In such a scenario, it makes sense to do everything in your power to nail the interview and score the job. Dressing well is an important part of that, which if ignored, can certainly leave you disappointed.
In a study conducted with 2000 bosses, it was found that 33% of them decided who they will hire for the job within the first 90 seconds of the interview. 56% bosses mentioned that clothes could be the deciding factor between two similar employees.
If you’re wondering what that is all about, you should know that your clothes say a lot about you during an interview.
In case you didn’t already know, your clothes play a supporting role for you during an interview. Being appropriately dressed will portray you as someone who takes the interview process seriously and understands the culture of the company as well as the nature of the industry he’s looking for employment in.
Certain industries which necessitate frequent contact with customers will require that you pay even more attention to the way you dress as you would be representing your company.
You should take pride in dressing well because by doing so you’re silently complementing the person you’re meeting. It is a testimony to the fact that you put in the time and the effort to create a well-thought-out ensemble simply to meet them.
Even if you’re aware that the company culture permits a casual and a laid-back dressing style, do dress more formally for the interview, unless you’re specifically told otherwise in the communication received from the company. Interviews are always a more formal/professional affair than regular work days.
It is important to keep your formal attire basic and conservative. The changing fashion trends should not dictate your interview attire. A first-class outfit should last a few years, depending on its quality, how often it is worn, how it is cared for, and how it fit.
So how do you decide what to wear?
When it doubt, it is always better to stick to the classics.
Dark, solid and sober colors in 100% cotton (no blends) are always a good bet for wearing to an interview. Cotton is great for all seasons, especially summers. Avoid wearing linen as it creases easily.
To be on the safe side, go for a crisp white business shirt such as a straight point or a button-down, particularly if this is your very first interview. It should have a smart and stiff collar. Avoid shirts with collars and cuffs that have monograms or are contrasting in color. Say no to French cuffs to keep cufflink mistakes at bay.
Make sure your clothes are clean and well-ironed to avoid cutting a sorry figure. Buy a new shirt altogether as it will prove to be a worthy investment.
Your tie is one of the first things that your interviewer will notice. Hence, wearing a good tie will amp up your appearance and hold you in good stead. Ties with uncomplicated clean patterns, small polka dots or classic stripes are always a hit. Avoid bright colors and bold patterns at all costs and keep bow-ties and pocket squares away from your interview attire.
If you plan to wear a business suit to the interview, go for a classic suit which is timeless and perfect for almost all occasions.
You will do well by opting for a single-breasted two-button suit jacket with a notched lapel and regular flap pockets. The vent depends on your frame, really. Larger men can pick a double back vent to allow better movement, while skinnier men would be better off a single back vent. Skinny lapels look good on most frames, however, if you’re on the heavier side, just avoid them.
If you’re planning to wear a suit and this is going to be your first ever suit, go for a classic dark blue or a navy suit as the versatility of these colors make them the best colors to wear to an interview or any other occasion.
However, if this is your second suit, choose one in classic gray or charcoal. Pinstripes are okay but do make sure that they’re subtle and do not make you look awkward.
(Pictures of products: Business Blue Blazer)
One may say that the modern workplace is a far cry from the way offices used to be about a decade ago. Tech companies and start-ups have changed the way employees dress by bringing a much more casual approach to what is considered appropriate for work – a more business-casual approach, if you will. Now this can get really testy!
Business casual does not imply that you can get away with wearing jeans, t-shirts, or sneakers to the interview. You need to think more business and less casual.
Wearing business suits here may be a tad too much and can make you seem out of place. Consider mixing and matching casual trousers and blazers, with or without a tie. Your shoes can be less formal as well.
Of course, confidence matters. But that again can come from your clothes. Focus on balancing slickness with comfort. When you feel comfortable in what you wear, you’re bound to feel good about yourself, which will come across in the interview.
Now it’s just a matter of putting your best foot forward.
That’s right, I’m talking about your shoes for the interview!
Nothing works better than the good ol’ black lace-up shoes when it comes to making an impression quickly. They’re far better than the casual penny loafers or one of those gimmicky shoes with ostentatious buckles and straps.
Do not forget to make your shoes shine, else you only up your chances of facing a quick rejection.
When it comes to socks, stick to the safe black socks, ones long enough to cover your ankles when you take a seat or sit cross-legged.
If you want to play real safe and just do not want to go wrong with the dress code, do not hesitate to ask about it during your first telephonic discussion with the company’s representative. It can help you a great deal!
While it is true that men often adjust their wardrobe to express his personal style and individuality, this hardly ever holds true for job interviews. In this case, it is important to dress to look the part you’re gunning for and get the job.