Dress for success – forget the catwalk when choosing your interview wardrobe

 

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Amanda Augustine, Career Advice Expert, TopCV

The streets of London will soon be flooded with models, designers and fashionistas dressed to impress and photographers ready to snap their every move for the official start of the 35th annual London Fashion Week.

Most of us don’t garner anywhere near this much attention on our way into the office and, in an ideal world, first impressions would be based on personality alone, rather than appearance. However, research shows we make decisions about people within the first few seconds of seeing them, so it’s important we put ourselves in the best possible position to make a good first impression.

This is particularly important when it comes to one of the more critical moments of our life – the job interview. According to a study carried out by Monster.co.uk, six in ten bosses (62 per cent) say that how an interviewee presents themself during an interview has a big impact on their perceived employability.

In a professional environment at least, being polished, presentable and reflective of the industry you’re entering can make all the difference to landing that dream job.

Below are five tips to help you select a winning look for your next interview.

Consider the corporate culture.

When it comes to interview attire, one size does not fit all. The conservative, dark-coloured suit you wore for your interview at Barclays won’t earn you high marks with an interviewer at a hot start-up like Simba. Consider the company’s dress code when selecting your outfit. Your goal is to dress as though you already work at the company and are attending an important meeting.

Search for clues online.

If you’re uncertain about the company’s dress code, take a closer look at its corporate website, particularly the ‘About us’ and ‘Employment’ sections, for clues. Check if the company publishes a blog or uses social media as part of its recruitment efforts – these resources can be especially helpful. In addition, research sites like Glassdoor for company reviews written by other candidates and past and present employees which can provide insight into an organisation’s culture and its interview processes.

Leverage your network.

If you know someone who currently works or previously worked for the organisation, now is the time to reach out! Not only can this person help you navigate the hiring process with greater confidence, but he or she can also ensure your interview attire is on point.

Take on trends with care.

While it can be tempting to incorporate the latest trends into your interview look, always err on the side of caution. You should always feel confident about being yourself and presenting your true self, but if you’re not interviewing at a fashion house or a high-fashion magazine like Vogue, being too trendy could detract from what’s important and sabotage your chances of landing the job.

That said, injecting personality into your interview wardrobe, be that a with your favourite animal print – a key look for Autumn 2018 – is no bad thing. But, use your accessories to do so. A scarf, handbag, pair of socks or cufflinks can be the perfect way to inject your look with personality without going overboard.

Do a dress rehearsal.

Try on your entire interview ensemble a few days before the appointment to make sure everything fits you properly, is clean, pressed and ready to go. Do you need to tighten a loose button or shine your shoes? Take care of these details ahead of time so you can focus on more important items the day of the interview.

Amanda Augustine

The next time you’re selecting an outfit for a job interview, think of the meeting as your own personal runway show. Apply these tips to your interview look and you’re sure to create a winning first impression with any employer.

About the author

Amanda Augustine is a Career Advice Expert at TopCV.

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