What to wear at interview is something I’m frequently asked by candidates and regardless if you like it or not, your personal appearance will be judged as an outward expression of who you are and your approach to work.
We’ve all heard the statistic that within 3 seconds of meeting someone we’ve already formed a judgement on them and interviews are certainly no exception.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be solely judged on your appearance, but you general presentation will be viewed as strong indicators of your status, self-confidence and self-care. That said, don’t instinctively grab your best suit from your wardrobe just yet.
Getting the image right won’t generally be remarked upon by hiring managers, but getting it wrong most certainly will. Take the time to consider the image of the company you’re presenting yourself to as this will give you a good starting point on the image you need to portray at interview.
For example, if the role is a corporate one for a financial institute then the tried and trusted suit is a good option. However, if the company is a savvy new graphic design start up, then don’t be afraid to mix it up a little with a quirky shirt, funky jewelry or a unique (but tailored) jacket.
For roles that are concerned with approachability (for example care or positions that involve working with children) try not to look too austere. Aim for a look that says approachable, yet professional and a good way to do this is brighten up a dark coloured suit with a colourful shirt, tie, top or accessories.
Going to interview with the right image gives the opportunity for the employer to visualise you as part of their team and shows them that you are able to represent their company and brand appropriately.
In short, one thing I say to my candidates is reflection. By this I don’t necessary mean what you look like in your mirror at home (although of course this matters) but the following:
1. Does your image reflect that of the company?
2. Does your how your presented reflect your personality?
3. Does your ‘look’ reflect the type of role you’re interviewing for?
4. Does your overall presentation reflect professionalism?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to all the questions above then you’re good to go!
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