Great news! You’ve got an interview. They obviously like your application, and want to meet you. But now what? You need to make sure that the vibrant, exciting person you came across as on your CV is the same person that they meet in real life. As well as talking the talk, you have to look right. Scared? Don’t be.
Suit the job
The most important part of dressing for a job interview is to match what you wear to the job itself. If you’re going for a job as, say, the art and design intern at a PR company, you can get away with a lot more than you could if you were going for a job at an accountancy firm.
For the vast majority of jobs, you will need to look smart. As a general rule, the only jobs where it is suitable to turn up wearing something more casual are the kind of jobs where maybe your winning CV was one slightly out of the ordinary, and something a bit quirkier.
Importantly, though, smart does not = boring. You are allowed to wear something more exciting than a black suit with a white shirt. Gents, it’s usually best if you wear a tie. If you’re really not sure about it, take one; you can always take it off if you turn up at the office and all the staff are in t-shirts. It’s always best to overdress rather than underdress for the interview.
Ladies, please don’t wear a boring skirt suit with a badly-fitting jacket. If you’re going to do a suit, make sure it’s well tailored, and you will look like the confident, able woman that you are. Something clean cut and powerful like a well-cut blazer might be a good idea if you feel this is a fairly male-dominated industry, and you want them to realise that you’re just as good as the men they already employ.
There is also, however, so much potential in a nice dress. Make sure with all skirts and dresses that it doesn’t ride up when you sit down with your legs crossed, and you’ll be fine. If you have a dress that makes you look smart, walk tall and feel like you already have that dream job, then wear it.
The million dollar point, though, is to be comfortable. I’ve left this till last in the hope that you’ll remember it. Don’t wear something that is really tight and cuts into you when you sit down; don’t wear something that you’re going to fiddle with when you’re nervous (necklaces are especially challenging!); don’t wear something that you really weren’t sure about. Ladies, there is also the question of heels. They look great, it can’t be denied, and they make you walk like you’re already the boss. But really, if you’re actually going to fall over, maybe give them a miss.
Overall, my best piece of advice is to wear something that makes you feel like you’re the winning candidate. Your interviewer will be able to see that in you, and it will make you all the more memorable.
Would you know what to wear to the dreaded job interview? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo: Matt Cornock / Flickr