One way to help leave a lasting impression is through the way you dress. Often people underestimate the importance of appropriate attire in an interview, however, ensuring that you are appropriately and professionally dressed can go a long way in helping you “seal the deal”! Here are several guidelines to help you on your way to having the perfect interview look!

  1. Be conservative

In the working world today, more colour and modern styles are accepted in the workplace than before. For an interview, however, it is recommended that you remain as conservative as possible. Try to avoid clothes that are revealing or too casual. Wearing conservative clothes shows respect for your interviewer and the interview process. It demonstrates a level of seriousness and professionalism that may work to your benefit! .

Do not confuse conservatism with wearing “drab” or “boring” clothing. Your unique style and individuality should be seen through the outfit you wear as it displays aspects of your creativity and style.

  1. Have the Right Fit

Clothes that do not fit well leave a negative impression on your interviewers. Your clothes must neither be too tight nor too loose and you should always ensure that they are not wrinkled. Try visiting the launders if you are uncertain about your ability to make your clothes seamless and neat. Sit and move around in your suit of choice to ensure that it does not shift inappropriately when you move. A good way to test your suit while sitting is to find chairs of different heights and structures. Have someone look at you to help you know how it looks.

  1. Avoid Simple ‘Red Flags’

Items such as gum, Ipods, handheld games and other electronic items should be left at home. If you display a dependency on these things before your interview it will indicate that you will have a dependency for these things even while working!

Try to cover up your tattoos that may have inappropriate images and any piercings or body modifications that may seem offensive. Simple is better. In addition, ensure that your clothes smell clean and are not stained. You may have one specific suit, which you keep just for interviews and formal events. Take the suit out and observe it for stains and undesirable scents from being packed away for too long.

  1. Keep Neat Undergarments

Undergarments can prove to be a nuisance when trying to look professional. It is recommended that you try on your suit/outfit with different types of undergarments before the date of your interview to ensure that there are no visible lines or undesired wrinkles.

  1. Cheap versus Expensive

You should aim to have a suit and accessories that are of a good quality. An investment in your interview attire is an investment in your future!

Avoid wearing things such as costume jewelry and other items that may be considered as low quality. These items are usually very bulky and extravagant and it may be quite distracting to your interviewer. Wearing such items to an interview gives the impression that you do not know how to dress in a professional environment.

  1. Correctly Guage the Organization’s Culture

In today’s work environment; organizations have begun to create their own standards as to appropriate work attire. You may have heard terms such as “Casual Friday’s” or “Dress Down Friday’s” where employees wear less formal clothes to work on particular days of the week or on a scheduled day. Through your research you may also be able to take note of the “dress code” at the organization. It is important that you differentiate between this culture/new practices and what is standard for interviews. In the majority of cases it is better to go to your interview in formal wear than too casual. This way you are guaranteed not to lose any points for your attire and overall demeanour.

There are cases where companies are very against formal wear even for interviews. Some sectors of work have may require you to be interviewed on site (e.g.- Engineering work, technician work). It is important to do as much research as possible on the company to discern this type of information so that you are appropriately dressed for your interview. There are even more specific customs on interview attire that you should take into consideration:

7. Suit (if you choose to wear one)

  • Should be a solid colour – navy dark or grey
  • Shirt should be long sleeved (men)
  • Belt
  • Tie (men)
  • Dark socks – conservative (i.e. not too much of a design on it- men)
  • Skirt shouldn’t be too short (women)
  • Coordinated blouse – conservative (women)
  • Conservative shoes (men- not too much of a design or pattern; women – toes should be covered- work appropriate shoes)
  • Neat professional hairstyle
  • Little to no jewelry
  • Pantyhose should be neutral and not too distracting (women)
  • Makeup should be kept simple and neutral (women)
  • Nails should be appropriately groomed and neutral
  • Your perfume/cologne/aftershave should also be of a light scent
  • No backpacks, book bags or knapsacks (preferably a portfolio or bag that can hold all your documents)
  • No ripped clothing (even if it may be the fashion)

For more information on how to dress for an interview click the links below: