Job interviews can be extremely stressful because you want to make a good first impression and an accurate perception of who you are. While the skills you bring to the table are crucial to whether you’ll be hired or not, making sure you look the part is just as important. Dressing to express your authentic self will make you stand out from other applicants and show your employers that you’re the right candidate for the job. How should you dress when you want to make an impression? Here are a few tips on how to do so.
Another important aspect of your look is your hair. You shouldn’t look like you just rolled out of bed when going to an interview; you need to take the time to make sure your hair is clean, dry, brushed, and styled. Having a good hairstyle can pull your look together entirely. If possible, get a fresh haircut before your interview to keep yourself looking professional. In terms of style, subtlety is key: like with perfume or cologne, you don’t want to overwhelm your interviewer.
Don’t overlook your fingernails either. Your hands will be one of the first things your interviewer will see as they shake your hand, and having dirty fingernails will only give a bad impression. Clean out any dirt, trim your fingernails, and, if you’re up for it, get a manicure (subtle shades only).
The way you should dress depends on what kind of work environment you’re heading to. If you’re interviewing for a professional position, you’ll have to look like you’ll fit in with the work environment from the moment you walk into the interview. Being too casual will make you stick out in a negative light, so stick to dark-colored suits, formal shirts, conservative shoes, and so on. If you’re unsure, ask what you should wear when scheduling your interview.
A business casual environment is different than a fully professional one. It’s the middle between casual and professional, and only certain companies are likely to accept business casual wear. If this is the environment you’re looking at, look to wear khakis, sweaters, cardigans, or cotton long-sleeved shirts.
For a casual environment, wearing professional attire will make you look out of place and too stuffy for the job. Instead, look to wear khakis, a button-down shirt, a nice shirt, or a simple skirt. Don’t be too casual—you don’t want to appear too relaxed when turning up for an interview.
How you dress will show a person your personality, status, age, and professionalism. When dressing for an interview, it’s essential not to overlook the details of your wardrobe. Fail to notice a stain, wrinkles, or even a mismatched accessory can paint the wrong picture of yourself. Consider if a necklace looks a little too showy or if your dress is better for a brunch instead of an interview. The outfit you put together can either tell the interviewer “I am a professional ready for this next job” or “This interview is not the most important thing for me today.”
Again, think about the environment you’re interviewing in. While your blazer may say professional, your shoes could be screaming casual. When you’re mindful of the details, you’re more likely to make the impression that you want.
Not only should a well-put-together interview outfit impress the interviewer, but it should also impress you. Put on an outfit that you feel confident and beautiful in. What you where can easily boost your confidence and sense of self-empowerment. A study found that professional dress increases abstract thinking and influences you to have a broader perspective. Your wardrobe can make you feel more ready and confident in your interview.
As you head to your interview, it’s important to be self-empowered through both your knowledge and your wardrobe. If you want to nail the interview and get the job, then dress the part. While style isn’t everything, what your wear is an impeccable representation of who you are. Show them that you’re capable, confident, and the perfect candidate for the position.