Judged on Appearance…

First impressions really do count and people can be judged on their appearance, especially when applying for jobs, so what should you wear at an interview? A complete stranger can form an opinion of you within seconds based solely on appearance; they will be trying to visualise you in the position they are trying to fill.

It does depend on the type of interview and whether it’s a formal panel interview or a chat over coffee but if you are aiming to look professional and polished its a good idea to dress to show yourself not distract. You want the interviewer to concentrate on what you are saying, not what you are wearing. Match the attire to the job or even “Dress for the job above” – if you are looking for a professional office position then:

  • Wearing a plain, dark suit in Navy or Black is the safest option
  • No leather, suede or velvet
  • No jeans – ideally you will have matching suits jacket and trousers/skirt
  • A well-fitted suit can look very impressive; you only need one in your wardrobe for any occasion!
  • Smart shoes and if you are wearing socks, ensure they are dark and match!
  • Polished shoes can make a huge difference
  • A simple, neutral and well ironed shirt
  • Ties – if in doubt be conservative
  • Avoid excessive jewellery and minimal make up
  • After-shave and perfume – less is more!
  • No sunglasses- definitely not inside!
  • Clean and tidy hair, nails and clothes  – an untidy appearance may imply untidy work
  • Take off your big winter jacket

Most importantly, you should feel good and comfortable in what you are wearing. If you feel good you will appear more confident and relaxed.

You are selling yourself as a package so if the job you are seeking is in the creative sector then a more creative, less formal approach may see you as a better fit in the company but even creative companies with a dress down policy may appreciate seeing you at interview in a suit.

If in doubt it is better to be over dressed than under dressed for an interview, you could even speak to the person who has arranged the interview for help on what to wear. A recruitment agency should be able to advise you on what to wear but more often than not a smart, well fitting suit or jacket and skirt is the safest option!

Now you have your outfit sorted see our Interview tips for a few useful pointers for the big day! Good Luck!