“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head
If you’re going for an interview dressing and looking the part can make all the difference. Some people say appearances should not matter and candidates should be judged on merit and experience rather than their dress style. This would be great in a perfect, non-competitive world, unfortunately “books are judged by their covers” in today’s fast-paced world.
Your wardrobe choices make up a large % of your first impressions and speak to your character in the professional world. This is especially true in the case of job interviews, where a first impression can prompt a recruiter or hiring manager to “see” if you are the right fit for the position and organization.
Acing the interview.
It’s hard enough to land a job interview, let alone get the job – so don’t leave your wardrobe choices to chance. Follow these 5 steps for interview dress success.
1. Discover the dress code. If you’re unsure the dress code is smart or business casual or if you should wear a tie or a suit, try get some clues by going to the company’s website, social media and seeing what the employees are wearing. If you’re unsure ask your contact what their dress code is. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Err on the conservative side. If you’re unable to find out the dress code, it’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Use common sense if you’re going for an entry level IT position a suit and tie might be over the top!
3. No to novelty! Skip the cartoon ties and socks. Meeting a prospective employer for the first time is not an ideal moment to wear your lucky “ace” socks or new super high silver platform heels. Stick to solid colors, simple styles, and subtle prints. Leave the cutesy pens, “Hello Kitty” notepads, “Superman” phone covers at home. You need to surround yourself with a “halo” of quality. If you have any doubts ask yourself, “Does this say professional?”
4. Don’t be memorable for the wrong reasons. Be sparing with aftershave and fragrances. You don’t want to be remembered as the “Aramis” or “Red Door” candidate. Ladies, tone down your make-up, nail polish. Beware of overly long eyelash and nail extensions. Guys – dirty nails, over-gelled hair – just anything that will detract from your message.
5. Do your research. Do a deep dive into the company’s website, social media – gather any information providing you clues about the company’s values and culture. Even though individuality is important keep in mind that your interviewer will be looking at you with this question in mind – does he/she qualify to be our company’s brand ambassador?
Don’t let your dress code and grooming stand in the way of a new job, career or promotion!
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