Show You Mean Business
One of the most important aspects of employment is making a good first impression, not a bad one. From the moment I walk through the door I need to look like I mean business. I know from a recruitment perspective, that any future jobs I apply for, the employer needs to be able to visualise me slotting into their organisation effortlessly. For every job interview attended, I remember that being smartly dressed and well groomed is the first hurdle; next are the credentials. Remember, your outfit should enhance your profile and you should be wearing it rather than the other way round.
Dress Suitably For The Job You Apply For
Employment encompasses every spectrum of society; unless the jobs you have your sights on are within the fashion industry, I would suggest staying away from dressing too quirky. Ensure that you try and stay as traditional as possible, but with an element of your own twist thrown-in. I never want to come across as an extrovert, but I do want to look like an individual. I personally never wear revealing tops, low-necklines or short skirts (just above the knees is suitable). I would suggest wearing tights rather than bare legs too. Comfort is important; it helps you stay focused rather than fidgeting about.
Whilst it’s better to dress conservatively, there are plenty of fashionable outfits to choose from. Designers, both for the high-street and high-end continue to keep on-trend when it comes to work attire. This makes shopping so much easier as the un-spoken guidelines regarding work etiquette and recruitment are taken into consideration whilst producing stylish clothing. It’s a win-win situation! With this in mind, I would refrain from dressing yourself in head-to-toe designer labels; it may give an awkward first impression or worst, distract or intimidate the interviewer.
There are numerous high street retailers where you can purchase stylish, yet affordable outfits. Retail shops are more than likely to have a range of styles and sizes, and have the welcomed, occasional sale. You can purchase a couple of outfits for the price of a designer item; in my experience the quality is just as good.
Your interview outfit should say something about you. Wear a splash of colour against the traditional corporate colours (black, navy and grey) if you want to make an individual statement. I would stay away from accessories which are chunky, dangly, noisy or too brightly coloured. I would also suggest not displaying anything too personal, i.e. religious symbols, tattoos or piercings. Anything that may stand between you and a job offers should not be on display; play it safe.
Just as you would rehearse what your interview answers would be, it should be the same with your interview outfit. This will allow for any tweaks to be made in good time. Practice climbing stairs, sitting down, picking something up off the floor. Ideally, your shoes should be broken-in and fit well. The key is to be comfortable and prepared for any unlikely event that might occur. You want to give the impression (whether it be the case or not) that your interview outfit is like a second-skin (and I’m not talking about the fabric). A practice run will identify any chinks in your armour before going for your dream job.
Ros Davies works for Lebreton Recruitment and regularly interviews candidates looking for employment.