Job interviews are notoriously nerve-wracking for the majority of people; those two words can send shivers down the most confident of spines. Preparing for a job interview is often like revising for an exam; you need to research the company, the role you’re applying for and practice answering some really tough questions but as trivial as it might seem, considering your wardrobe is important too.
First impressions are important and it only takes your interviewer a few seconds to formulate a positive or negative opinion of you based on your appearance alone. Scientific research also suggests that what you wear can have a significant impact on how you feel in certain situations. One particular study found that those who were wearing formal business attire felt significantly more in control of a situation than their under-dressed peers.
Formal Wins the Race
For most job interviews it’s generally considered a good idea to dress formally. If you’re applying for a job similar to your current occupation, then try stepping it up a notch to make it look a bit crisper than everyday attire. The word formal invariably conjures up the image of a suit for most people and this will usually be a great fail-safe option because it’s always better to be over-dressed in these situations. However, if you don’t own a suit and can’t afford to invest in one there are ways to make your current wardrobe work; for instance, if your go-to work outfit is a pencil skirt and shirt then look for a tailored blazer in a similar material to the skirt.
Always Look Professional
The key point to remember when dressing for an interview is that you look neat and smart. Ensure that everything is ironed to perfection and try to avoid trousers or skirts which might crease on the journey there. It might seem obvious but make sure your clothes are clean, check the back before you put them on in case there’s a stain that didn’t come out in the wash.
A general rule of thumb for interview attire is to keep to neutral colors and avoid patterns. If your wardrobe is a bit more adventurous than most and you don’t really own anything that is considered formal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have to invest in a whole new wardrobe. Consider creating a capsule wardrobe – this means choosing a few key items of clothing that will work well in various combinations, alone or paired with items you already own.
Comfort is Key
A lot of people are so absorbed in making the right impression and looking the part that they choose outfits they’d never normally wear. The problem with this is that you will instinctively feel uncomfortable and this could lead to you fidgeting and adjusting your clothes during the interview which will be seen as a sign of feeling nervous. To avoid this, it’s best to choose items that fit you perfectly and wear them a few times before the interview to get used to them, making sure skirts won’t ride up or jacket sleeves aren’t too short.
Whatever style you choose to wear the most important factor is that you feel confident in the outfit because if you feel like you look the part then there will be a much higher chance of you bagging that job.