Getting through to the interview stage for a job application is a scary and exciting process. There will be a million things on your mind, whether it’s doing further research for the interview itself, or even planning your journey to make sure you get to your interview for the right time! One thing that may not get the attention it deserves is what you are planning to wear. It’s definitely advisable to get your outfit sorted before the morning of your interview a last minute panic is not what you need when you’re trying to calm your nerves.
Choosing an interview outfit may seem insignificant in comparison to doing thorough research for your interview questions. But it’s worth bearing in mind that according to research, a potential employer will decide in 12 seconds of meeting you whether they want to employ you or not. Even if that’s not always the case, what you wear will have a huge impact on the first impression to give to your potential employer. The best formula for an interview outfit is to look professional whilst feeling comfortable. This isn’t an easy task when you’re looking for office wear, but if you get it right it could be the key to your success.
When it comes to clothing for women, there’s so much choice it’s easy to feel overwhelmed – especially if you’re dressing out of your comfort zone. Depending on what sort of industry your job interview is for can change the tone of what you should wear. For example, if you are interviewing for a fashion retailer you could perhaps be more daring and creative with your outfit - but if you’re interviewing for a solicitors firm, something more formal may be more appropriate. A great combination is a blouse/pencil skirt or smart trousers – there are so many styles for these key pieces you should be able to find something that suits you.
What colours you choose to wear can depend on what season it is. Having said that, you can’t really go wrong with more muted tones such as navys, greys, nudes and beiges. You can add a touch of originality by adding a piece of jewellery such as a necklace or a pair of studded earrings so your outfit isn’t too boring – you don’t want to look forgettable. Jewellery helps to complete the look of an outfit.
Footwear is important, especially if you have a long day in an assessment centre – comfort is key. If you’re comfortable in a pair of heels, it’s probably better to aim for a low-mid length heel to maintain an aura of professionalism. If the thought of wearing heels terrifies you, there are lots of great stylish flat shoes out there from ballet pumps to a smart pair of brogues - there will be something to suit you.
When it comes to interview fashion for men, it is a little simpler. A shirt, suit and tie are the three key pieces – but there are some things for men to consider when searching for the perfect interview outfit. If cost is an issue, you don’t have to spend a fortune – it just might take a little more time to find clothes that are the perfect fit. The fit is often more important than the style of the suit itself, it will definitely help you feel comfortable if your sleeves fit and your jacket buttons up. Another clothing essential – make sure your shirt is crisp, clean and ironed and shoes must be polished. If your interview is a little less formal, I would still recommend wearing a suit and shirt but leave out the tie – this will help you pull off the dress code everyone dreads: smart/casual.
These style ideas are intended to help you feel confident and comfortable in your interview, whilst still creating a great impression. Taking that bit of extra time to find an interview outfit that suits you and the employer you’re interviewing for will make all the difference for interview success.
For more help with your interview take a look at our How to Ace the Interview eBook.
More Interview Tips:
- Executive Job Search Tips: What to Wear to the Interview
- Presenting Yourself Well in Interviews
- How to Shine in an Interview
- 7 Ways to Research a Company