Setting the tone of your professional relationship with your would-be employer starts with how you dress when your first meet them. Think of it as the first time you meet your potential special someone. Much like a first date, how you dress for your first interview could make or break your chances at a job. Regardless of how you think the work environment is, it is important for you to dress as professionally as you can. You don’t want to set the wrong tone. In general, the candidate dressed in a suit and tie, or dress and heels, will make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in jeans and flip-flops. Even though, how you conduct yourself in the interview is what matters most, if you show up wearing flip flops wearing a t-shirts that reads “P@rtay foreva” might set the wrong impression about you.
To help you avoid being mistaken as DJ-NO-JOB here are a few tips that might help you feel more confident when entering the interview room.
- The top
Men are strongly advised to stick to long sleeved shirts at the very minimum. If possible, suits. In saying that, should you not find a suit that fits wear shirts that fit you best and tuck it in. Never slack your shirt. Think of it as a wedding, would you show up to your own wedding with a slacked shirt tucked out? No.
Women have it a lot harder than men in this department. Should you decide to wear a pant or skirt suit you should wear shirts that aren’t too tight or too baggy. Think of what your mother would want you to wear to school and stick to that rule.
- The face
Men should have a clean cut and shaved or trimmed beard. Should you want to rock an Afro make sure it’s combed and tamed and not wild and bushy. Beards are only okay if you trimmed them and they are not wild and untamed.
Women should also follow the same protocol, whatever style you choose make sure that it’s not too flashy. Make-up is okay but only if it’s not too much. Too much make up could send the wrong message to your interviewer. Yes women have it a lot harder.
For men jeans are frowned upon. You should try your absolute best to find the least jean-looking thing in your wardrobe and pair that with a shirt. Remember that this is a place that might have very different standards than a college classroom. Think of your defence in your last year, you wouldn’t show up wearing blue jeans right? The same applies here.
For women, it is best to stick to either pants or simply professional skirts and stockings. The lesser skin you show the better.
These are the very basics of interview attire. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and be creative. But there are limits to what you can wear and you shouldn’t cross that line.