You’ve got the confirmation of the interview, you know how to get there, you have done your research and are feeling confident. That’s all great but what do you wear?
A scarily high percentage of decisions are based on non verbal things, mannerisms and interaction play a huge part in this but also how you dress can be an influencing factor.
I’m not saying that overnight you should change your style, ditch the wardrobe, sew in shoulder pads into everything you own and totally channel the wolf of Wall Street, but think about the impression you will be creating.
Interviewing for corporate jobs is so much easier, the rules there are simple. Suits for both men and women and a corporate business like appearance. In telly those rules don’t always apply so it can be harder to gauge what is right and what isn’t. I think you need to remain true to yourself, but here are a few things interviewers notice.
Make sure your clothes are clean
Sounds so obvious but it’s one of the first things people pick up on. That dubious stain on your cardigan, the white shirt that’s now gone a mysterious grey, or the coffee stain staring right back at you. If you spill coffee down you just before the interview (and these things can happen) then be upfront about it. “I’m so sorry apologies for the coffee stain, someone literally bumped into me 5 mins ago”. Acknowledging this can help. Get to the interview early and head to the bathroom to check out your appearance (no need for a selfie) check your teeth and breath here too. You don’t want to be , you know the girl with spinach in her teeth, or the man with the bad breath.
Another pet hate of mine are holes in clothes don’t wear that sweater that has a hole in the elbow. It makes the interviewer think that you can’t be bothered or you are not taking it seriously. Students might not care, but believe you me potential employers will.
It’s not a nightclub
TV can be uber trendy and fashionable and when you’ve been working there for a while you might want to wear that cat suit and the sparkly high heels but remember an interview is an interview not a nightclub. Dress smart casual, keep your own stamp on your clothes and style but keep it professional. I’d say denim cut off shorts, halter tops, boob tubes, track suit bottoms, velour lounge suits are all no no’s. Don’t come in as one candidate did for an interview with me with sunglasses on top of their head, or even wearing sunglasses. It just looks a bit wanky and pretentious.
Wear something that is smart, reflects you and most importantly comfortable. Don’t be sat there thinking these trousers are too tight or the button on this blouse might burst open. This will distract you from doing a good interview.
Slogan t shirts can be fun when you are out on a Saturday night but in an interview are misplaced. One guy I interviewed came in wearing a T shirt that said “chicks dig me”. Throughout the interview I kept thinking “get over yourself and who are these chicks, I can’t see them digging on you”. Cruel of me I know but t shirts like that are bold statements. Any drug related slogans, swear words or even political can say a lot about the individual in not always a good way and can actually detract from all the good stuff that you are saying.
Remember the shoes
Now I’m sounding like Joan Rivers on fashion police but shoes are important for your interview look. Keep them clean and polished. Avoid trainers unless they are smart trainers. Wear six inch stilettos if you can walk in them, I once interviewed someone who’d borrowed their friends shoes and was like Bambi on ice tottering around in the heels. If you are wearing sandals make sure you have nice toes.
Good luck with all the interviews that you have, but don’t let all that hard work be let down by a few fashion mistakes.