Dressing for that important interview can be as nerve-wracking as the interview itself, and providing the perfect first impression is crucial. More than the information contained within your résumé, the first meeting allows your prospective employer to see who you really are – or, rather, who you want to be seen as.
What to wear depends greatly on the job you’re going for, so this requires some careful planning. Generally, it’s considered both polite and appropriate to dress smartly whatever position you’re going for, but a business suit is not always necessary. However, if everyone around you is wearing a suit, jeans won’t help your confidence levels. Most company’s default dress code could be considered smart casual.
It helps to do a little homework to aid your decision. Check out the company’s LinkedIn profile (you ought to do that anyway as part of your prep), and look closely at any photos to see what employees are wearing. Your aim is to replicate this look, whilst remaining comfortable. If you cannot tell what the usual workplace dress code is from their social media, it’s a good idea – and shows initiative, to ring the HR department and ask.
Your interviewer will be looking for someone who has their act together, and any deficiency in this area could be noticeable in your outfit, so choose items that match and look good together. Remember that any accessories, such as your bag or umbrella, must compliment your outfit perfectly.
If the interview is for a business-related role or management position, it’s a good idea to aim for a smart suit – a well-tailored blouse, formal dark-colored skirt, or great-fitting pants, a stylish jacket and beautiful, but comfortable, shoes. However, for a more casual, but still smart, look, you could change a pale blouse for something colored, or a looser fitting silk top. Both of these looks say professional, but with a touch of sass!
If you’re going for a more creative role, knowing what to wear can be harder. Most employers are looking for confidence and character, other than your actual skills, of course, and these can be expressed in your chosen outfit. Smart, well made bootcut jeans, for example, can look gorgeously stylish, maybe with a pretty blouse and a stunning long cardigan. Accessorize with a small, unobtrusive necklace, nice watch and tiny ear studs. For a design role, such as writer, or magazine editor, this could work really well.
Never be afraid to stand out from the crowd with your choice of outfit, but, remember, the role dictates how much standing out you should choose to do.