While a first impression is often formed in seconds, it can last for an eternity.
Although this may sound a little profound, it certainly has merit an ever-diversifying and competitive marketplace. After all, studies have shown that it takes approximately 7 seconds for potential employers to form an impression of you as an individual, which leaves you with scant time to influence the minds of those who you are seeking to impress.
Not only this, but the first impression that you make may also prove decisive when employers are interviewing a large number of similarly qualified candidates for a job role.
Arguably, one of the few ways that you can create a positive first impression is through your attire. By dressing in the right way for your interview, you can gain a competitive edge over your rival candidates and get your application off to the best possible start. With this in mind, here are some tips to help you dress for success when attending your next interview!
For Men: Why Simplicity Holds the Key
When it comes to male interview attire, simplicity undoubtedly holds the key. Men are certainly helped by the fact that they can chose from a limited range of attire when planning for an interview, but they build on this by maintaining clean lines and a crisp, simplified look. Here are some things to bear in mind:
Go for a Modest Suit, Shirt and Tie Combination: You should almost always default to a classic suit when attending an interview, favouring a slim fit and a solid, block colour (think of navy or dark grey). Try to avoid bold or dazzling colours, while you should continue the classic theme with a crisp, long-sleeve shirt that is either white or at least coordinated with the suit. You should complete this confident and understated look with a tie, and one that is compatible in terms of colour and pattern.
Keeps Accessories to a Minimum: When it comes to accessioning your attire, less is definitely more. In fact, you should wear little or no jewellery, save for a wedding ring if you are married. You should also opt for a plain and colour coordinated belt, which once again fits well and features a block shade. We would also recommend wearing a stylish watch to augment your look, adoring a silver strap when wearing dark grey and a brown leather alternative when donning a navy blue number.
Don’t Forget the Shoes: Last, but by no means least, we come to the shoes. These must be conservative but extremely well-polished, with brown or black leather preferable depending on your choice of outfit. Match your shoes with grey, black or navy blue socks, so long as they are coordinated with the rest of your attire.
For Women: Striking the Balance Between Comfort and Style
As we have already said, female fashion is far more complex and varied, and this can make determining your interview attire far more challenging. There is arguably more scope to influence the impression that you have on a potential employer, however, so by being bold and accepting the challenge at hand you can ultimately achieve your objective. Here are some of the key tips for females as they plan for an interview:
Comfort and Conservatism Should be Watchwords: Depending on the precise role you are interviewing for, we would certainly recommend wearing a suit as a women. Once again, this should feature a block colour of navy blue or dark grey, with a coordinated blouse that can introduce a little colour. You will also need to make a choice between trousers or skirt, and while both are perfectly acceptable.
Use Colour Wisely and Knowledgeably: Regardless of your own, unique sense of style, there is no doubt that women have a little more scope to wear colour during an interview. You should use this to your advantage, by honing the various shades of your outfit to create a clearly defined impression in the minds of interviewers. Blue and white are ideal as they tend to reflect assured, confident and organised individuals, while black also conveys leadership and can be deployed effectively when applying for leadership roles.
Wear Jewellery Sparingly: Once again, female applicants have a little more scope to wear jewellery during an interview, but there are still rules that should be adhered to. You will need restrict the items that you wear, for example, with dangling earrings and an excessive number of bracelets to be avoided at all costs. Try to prioritise quality pieces of jewellery where possible.
The Last Word: Keep a Clear Mind and Adhere to the Basics
As you can see, while there are some interview attire rules that apply to both genders, there are also subtle variations for men and women. The key is to follow these guidelines while keeping the precise nature of the role that you are interviewing for online, while also maintaining a simplistic look wherever possible.
Aside from this, you should also strive to adhere to the basics of dressing to impress, such as ensuring that each garment is clean, stain-free and pressed to remove any creases. This also showcases attention to detail, while it suggests that you are a candidate who takes pride in your appearance and all that you do.
With these tips in mind, you can hopefully approach your interview with confidence and use your attire to make a positive impression in the mind of your next employer.