“Dress the way you want to be addressed” is a saying as old as the first interview, and still very effective. First impressions matter and the very first impression anyone going for a professional interview has on a potential employer, or even client, is derived from the outlook of the person and this involves the dressing most importantly. So, before a single word is said or written at the interview, an impression has already been created and passed on to the interviewer based on how the interviewee is dressed.
Our dress sense, to say the least, goes a long way to tell how responsible or otherwise we are. In the present world, every work environment is regulated by certain rules that keep the worker in tune with modern realities of company culture. Now, more than ever, company culture is shifting to allow employee flexibility in terms of when they work, where they work and most importantly, what they wear to the office. However, this does not negate the fact that at an interview, the focus of the interviewee should not be on freedom or flexibility, but rather on the utmost need to impress the would-be interviewer.
Certainly, it is the dream of every potential employee to impress his or her interviewer. However this dream is more often than not dashed by a simple disregard of the appropriate dress sense required for the interview. While it is general knowledge that the mode of dressing varies amongst the both sexes, a comprehensive approach to dressing for an interview is what is offered here.
First of all, when attending an interview, especially a job interview, the job seeker should dress in a manner that is professionally appropriate to the position for he or she is applying. In almost all cases, this means wearing a suit. It is rarely appropriate to “dress down” for an interview, regardless of the company dress code policy. Hence, it is professionally advised that when a job seeker becomes doubtful about the suitability of his or her dress code, the job seeker goes conservative. When wearing a suit, it is advised that the suit must be fitted and comfortable enough to allow the would-be employee to look and act at his or her best.
Secondly, loud colours and flashy ties should be restricted when dressing professionally for an interview, except of course you are being interviewed for the position of Bob the Clown, in which case, the louder the better. Clothing must be neat, clean and properly pressed to build an unruffled ambience in the opinion of the potential employer. The interviewee should also take care to use only a mild perfume or better still a deodorant spray after bathing and not anything pungent like cologne or aftershave in the likelihood that this may evoke an allergic reaction in the interviewer.
Other important things to note are a well brushed teeth, shaved beard for the men and shoes which should be well polished and match with the belt. It is necessary for the hair style to be cool, neat and conservative, except again that the interview is for Head Rock Guitar Basher, then by all means, the spikier the better.
These notations are not restricted to the interviewee, the employer should also be sure dress neatly and to shave the morning of the interview, even though he does not shave every day. Full beard or moustache should be neatly trimmed and kept, to avoid the impression of looking unkempt.
Ladies should ensure that their waistband is not cutting as this may prevent you from being and acting your best. They should wear a suit with a skirt or pants. The interview suit, for women should be simple and dark coloured. This is not a time to show off your color combinations. Knee length skirts are generally prescribed to avoid complaints of immodesty. A conservative blouse is to be worn, with the suit and not anything lacy. Eccentric clothing such as animal prints, ultra-bright colours, sheer material or low cuts should not be worn on any occasion.
More so, make up and nail-polish should be understated and less flattering. Shades that are neutral to the employee’s skin tone are rather advisable. Avoid brighter than usual colours and very long nails. This also applies to men; long nails indicate an untidy nature.
Finally, jewellery and hair accessories are to be kept at the barest minimum and certainly, not those that are flashy, distracting or shiny. Leather wristwatches for the men are more likely to evoke a favourable response and one ring per hand is best for the ladies.
While all these may appear too clumsy and boring, it also follows that these are the generally acceptable guidelines you should follow when deciding what to wear and how to dress for an interview. Dressing professionally shows respect for you, the interviewer and the company. A job seeker is more likely to be taken very seriously when you present yourself in a professional manner and take the time to attend to details.