The dress code for interviews is that there isn't a dress code.
You knew that!
However, clothes are one of the key impact-makers the moment you introduce yourself, so use those moments wisely.
Dressing For An Interview
There are certainly a few things to be aware of when dressing for an interview.
Unless you genuinely have 'nothing to wear' buying something new especially for an interview can bite you in the backside.
Our experience is that this kind of interview shopping is done last minute and rushed.
Wear New Clothes First
Often the same week or even the day before, which means you don't have a chance to 'break it in' and make it look as though it's yours.
And that goes for shoes too!
No point being in pain in a new pair of shoes that are fighting your feet - you won't be able to concentrate as well if your feet are hurting!
Feel Easy In Your Outfit
And there's the key about interview dress code: your clothes (and shoes) have to look as though they belong to you. Not as if they were bought yesterday or are your older brother's, or sister's or your roommate's.
If you are uneasy in your clothes, the people interviewing will pick it up - they may not quite understand what's making them uneasy, but wearing the wrong clothes 'read'.
Match The Company Culture
Next (again the most common of common sense that some people don't think of), match your clothes to the company culture where you are going for an interview.
Just about every company has a website these days and you can learn an awful lot about the appropriate dress code from studying their websites.
Check Out Their Website
For instance, if you looked through our website, you might just get the idea that we're a smart casual kind of company.
We may wear 'proper' suits and ties when working for our clients, but the feeling you'll get from our site is that our dress code is pretty relaxed.
More Formal Company
A more formal company will have a website that reflects their formality.
If you are interviewing at that kind of company:
Men: wear a crisp suit, well-ironed shirt, understated tie and well-polished shoes.
Women: wear a tailored or conservative suit, low pumps, minimal jewellery and makeup.
Nothing too flashy would be the right dress code for that kind of interview.
Don't Wear Jeans
Although some may disagree, we feel that even for the most casual of companies, wearing jeans and trainers is probably a no-no.
If you get the job, you may end up dressing like that every day, but for that initial interview, a smart dress code shows a form of respect and also shows that you have more than jeans in your wardrobe!
In this case, going the formal route isn't the right dress code choice but doing the complete opposite isn't wise either.
Other common-sense reminders:
- Have a good haircut
- Trim beards
- Wash hair
- Avoid masses of jewellery
- Use a light touch with makeup
- Make sure your clothes are clean whatever you wear
Feel Comfortable Look Comfortable
Most of important of all - you need to feel comfortable in your clothes, whether formal, smart casual or somewhere in-between.
Clothes do reflect the person wearing them and you do want to make the right first impression.
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