There is a saying, “perception is reality” and when you attend an interview, it is essential to keep this in mind. The goal is to appear at the interview with an image that projects the type of person you are. What you wear should create a positive and appropriate perception depending on the job for which you are applying, the company and industry, as well as your geographic location and time of year. Choose your attire well and present yourself as the right candidate to hire.
The appropriate clothes for an interview shifts from time to time. You can say that this is a reflection of the job market itself. For instance, a more casual approach has dominated the work attire, including during interviews, prior to the recession. When the recession struck, this took a reversal. Job seekers began to dress up to stand out from the crowd.
Hiring managers have taken a cue out of this phenomenon, too. The recession created a heightened awareness by hiring managers of what candidates wear to interviews. Interview attire is also often seen as a test of a candidate’s familiarity of the company and industry. All these contribute to the importance of choosing the proper clothes.
Dress for success:
- Consider the variables at play during the interview. How does the majority in your industry dress up?
- Is your geographic location appropriate for the clothes that you picked? For instance, you cannot possibly show up for an interview in California wearing a dark suit for a position in construction.
- Conduct a research on the company online to determine suitable interview outfits. There is also no harm in calling the HR department to ask for recommendations.
- Visit a large department store and ask for help from the in-house personal shopper or stylist. You can also hire this service.
- Whatever you pick, ensure the clothes you pick are clean and properly pressed.
- Skip perfume or cologne on the actual interview day.
- Choose makeup or jewelry appropriate for the position, company, and industry.
- Wear makeup and jewelry that are appropriate for the job/company/industry.
- When in doubt, remember it is always better to be overdressed.
What you wear can and will influence your chances for landing a job so be conscious about it and make the effort to pick the right mix that best suits success.