Interviewing for a job can be overwhelming, stressful and of course you want to make a great first impression which can be tough when it’s via Zoom or Skype. Regardless of how experienced you are and whether your qualifications are a perfect fit, what you wear to an interview is a crucial influencer on your success. You have a seven second window when first meeting someone to present the best version of yourself and create a winning first impression. In fact, according to Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Rule of Personal Communication, 7% of that first impression is driven by what you say, 38% by how you sound and a resounding 55% by how you look!
As a company whose core purpose is dressing people for work, fashionably and practically, it amazes me the amount of new interview candidates that show up inappropriately dressed, even for online interviews and meetings. There is a creative and strategic element to how you are perceived at work, and this comes into play even more so in a job interview. When you interview for a job you are auditioning for a role and it is important to dress for the part you want!
Whilst we are operating in the new age space of remote working, hot spot desks and more casual dress, the job market is more competitive than ever and dressing appropriately and professionally for interview has never been more important. If you are ever in doubt about how to dress for an interview it is best to dress conservatively, better be over dressed then under dressed or even better, ask the interviewer around the company dress code to paint a clearer picture of what is expected. Here are 7 tips to make a great first 7 second impression during your interview:
Think about it!
Spend time thinking about who you are meeting, what the job role entails and how to project the part. You are about to walk into a room where you need to sell yourself, your skill set, experience and culture fit. Most interviewers understand that on first interview, it is difficult, due to nerves to completely gauge somebody’s appropriateness for a role. A big part of this first impression is based on how you have presented yourself by projecting professionalism through what you wear.
Understand the company and brand
If you are interviewing for a role you are also interviewing to represent their brand. Understand the industry the company you are interviewing with operates in; what is the culture? What is the service and product offering? Who do they sell too? And what is the tone of the marketing message on the website, is it corporate or casual? You will be surprised how much this will influence how you dress.
Get the basics right
Keep it simple and keep jewellery to a minimum (a watch, a wedding ring, that’s about it!). If you’re a smoker or coffee drinker, pop a breath mint just before the interview (just make sure it’s gone before you go into the interview). Men should be clean shaven. If you have a beard or goatee, have it professionally trimmed before the interview. Make sure your fingernails are trimmed and clean. Get a manicure if necessary. For women, clear or no nail polish is best.
Dress for your shape
Understanding your body shape and age and dressing appropriately shows you are in total control of who you are and what you do!
Pressed and polished
Make sure your work wardrobe is always clean, ironed and not over worn. Old, crumpled clothing looks messy and unprofessional.
Project what you expect
Dress the part, walk the walk and talk the talk. If you are dressed the way you would like to be perceived, you start to feel and then act that way. You will be surprised at your level of confidence when you dress and feel the part.
What not to wear
Jeans or tee shirts are never a good choice. Stick to a chino or business pant /skirt in a dark colour with a classic blouse or shirt. Avoid bright, shiny or bold patterns and make sure if you are interviewing for a corporate company you are dressed corporate; a classic suit will go a long way.
You only have one chance to make a great first impression so make the first 7 seconds count. Dress the part, be prepared and score that dream job!