How to Dress for Interview Success

How to Dress for Interview Success

The first impression is one of the biggest factors in getting a job and yet, many people underestimate the importance of the way they dress for an interview. When an interviewer meets you for the first time, they will form an initial opinion based on your body language and appearance. Therefore, dressing properly is another key part you must include in the preparation for the interview.

You are not necessarily making the right choice if you wear a suit and a tie to an interview. It should all be based on the job position and job sector you are applying to. Sometimes, it is even better to wear a trendy t-shirt and scruffy jeans!’ – says Anna Peterson, an HR manager at Bestdissertation.

That said, you need to know the industry before you determine the right dressing code for an interview. Basically, at an interview, you need to fit the expectations of the potential employer. A hiring manager won’t know you or the way you work, which means that he will consider everything he sees and hears about you when making the decision.

Here are some ideas on what you should wear to an interview.


  • Research the Industry


When preparing for an interview, you should research the company. This will give you insight into what to expect from the interviewer, as well as provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your interest.

While you are researching them, make sure to look into what people who work there wear. Ask yourself – what will your interviewer be wearing?

Of course, you can never know this for sure, but by understanding the industry’s and company’s culture, you will have a general idea as to what their dressing code is. For example you will need to dress easier for a job in the charity sector, but you need to be dressed highly professionally if you are applying for a job in a law firm.

You can even go further and look at some employees in their LinkedIn profiles, or check the ‘About Us’ page of the company and focus on people’s clothing.

Once you get this information, all you have to do is copy them.


  • You Don’t Have to Purchase New Clothes


People have the tendency to spend hundreds of dollars on new clothes, and all they have to do is use the ‘interview excuse’. The truth is, you don’t need to spend a fortune to look good at an interview. Use clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable, but are suitable for the target industry. If you are a good candidate for the job, you surely have such a combination in your closet.

When you are using clothes you purchased previously, you already know how they fit you and behave on you. You don’t want to end up walking funny because of your brand-new ‘interview shoes’, or itch all the time because of the new shirt’s label. An interviewer will immediately notice that you are uncomfortable and this can ruin their impression of you as a confident person.

If you have absolutely nothing suitable to wear, purchase it a couple of days before. This will give you time to try the new outfit out and see if you feel good wearing it.


  • Make Sure Everything Adds Up


It won’t really matter if you get your shirt, skirt or jacket right – the task here is to keep them all cohesive. Purchasing one expensive silk piece and mixing it with things that do not fit the dressing code of the company can have the same effect as wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans. Therefore, make sure that all your outfit adds up.

This means that you should pay attention to colours. When it comes to colours, there is a single rule that applies to interviews – do not use too many. Try to limit your clothing to two or three different colours, and keep them coordinated.

And finally, make sure to remember all those gadgets and additions. Get the right bag or briefcase, and make sure that everything to your socks looks professional. You wouldn’t want your interviewer to see a pink sock with sheep on it when you sit down and cross your legs.


  • Be Temperature-Prepared


You will know the season and weather outside, but you cannot know the inside temperature in the building. Assuming that this is the first time you are visiting the company’s offices, you cannot really be prepared for the temperature inside.

Face it – the room can be boiling or freezing, so there are many ways to mistake your outfit. In order to avoid the uncomfortable sweating or shaking because of the cold, wear two layers.

If it is warm, you will have a jacket to take off. If it is cold, you have a jacket to keep you warm.

These four steps should help you get the dressing part right for your interview. Once you have gone through all of them, you are ready to go to your interview! 


Justin Osborne

Justin is a teacher from Leicester, UK. When not teaching his little students and rooting for Leicester FC, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education and self-improvement with other people on different blogs and forums. You can follow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.

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