How much does what you wear really impact on how successful you’re likely to be when it comes to a job interview? The reality is, the first impression you make on a hiring manager or potential employer is crucial and cannot be dismissed. You have just seven seconds to make the right impression when you walk through the door –that’s barely enough time to greet one another, this is why the way you present yourself is key.
Go above and beyond
Everyone makes judgements about how someone presents themselves. While hiring decisions should never be made based on factors like this alone there is no doubt that it will have an impact. While it may be appropriate to dress more casually for a second interview, you must still dress professionally. It’s much better to be too dressed up than look too casual. A good rule of thumb is to dress like your boss. Shoes should be polished and in a good condition, not scuffed or run-down at the heels.
Avoid the most obvious mistakes
Cleanliness, hygiene and personal grooming might seem like an obvious point to make but can often be overlooked. Prepare your outfit the night before – ensuring it’s ironed, clean and ready to wear so that you’re not rushing to deal with stains or creases on the morning of the interview. Clean nails and hair are as important as clean shoes and are important details not to overlook. You don’t have to turn up to an interview in a brand new outfit but make sure what you wear is clean and well prepared.
We are always more likely to be confident when we feel comfortable. So, don’t make compromises with your outfit, such as wearing a suit that is just a bit too small because it’s new or shoes that pinch. Avoid any items of clothing that might show sweat patches, or which may require fussing and adjusting during the interview, as that could distract from the impression that you’re trying to make.
Dress to convey the person you want to be
Confidence also comes from what you wear in terms of the image that you’re projecting to the outside world. Sometimes, an outfit makes us stand that little bit taller or shake hands with a firmer grip. Put some thought into the impression that you’re looking to create with your clothes for an interview. How do you want people to react to you the first time that they see you and what do you want your look to say about the person that you are?
Dressing for success is key preparation – and may be as important as researching the business or ensuring your CV is in great shape. It’s an essential part of making the most of any interview situation.
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