It may come as a surprise but what you decide to wear to a job interview is hugely important. The way you look will have just as much of an influence on your possible future employer, as your body language and even what comes out of your mouth.
So what do you wear? A killer suit maybe? But what if it is some creative start up company, with an office like Google and has a skate park on the second floor? (Which if it does, you better nail that interview because it sounds awesome).
Whatever and wherever you are going for, we can help you by sharing tips on how to dress for the occasion.
First things first, do your research. Find out what you can about this company and see if you can gauge on how your possible future peers like to dress for work.
Look Online – Most of the time, you can find this information online via their website, as many companies like to demonstrate their lifestyle at work.
Ask Around – Surely you must know someone who has a friend or family member who works at a similar company or who does a similar job. Find out what they wore, it obviously worked for them.
Ask Them – Don’t be afraid to politely enquire by phone before the interview.
Stealth Mode – If all else fails, I would recommend hiding in a bush outside the building of the company you’re going for. Wear camouflage clothing and take a camera, you can take snaps as people come and go.
If you are still not sure, go with a suit. It is always better to look over dressed rather than under, it reflects how interested you are in the job and it is better to look over keen than unenthusiastic.
But remember MMS&T’s first rule for getting the best out of your suit – and that’s the fit. The fit is everything and I really mean everything. If you do not own a well fitting suit then go buy one… now.
Think of it as an investment, which could help you ace this interview and will give you a better chance of acing interviews in the future. However, you don’t need to spend a huge amount of money on a tailor-made bespoke suit.
There are plenty of high-street stores which sell well fitted suits at low prices, so I’d advise you to shop around. It may not last as long but as long as it fits well, your high-street suit will look as good as everyone else’s in the room. If you are not sure how your suit should fit click here.
I would always suggest a navy or grey suit for an interview. Try to keep away from double breasted, in favour for a single breasted, two or three button jacket. Keep it simple, a solid navy or solid dark grey is perfect. It’s important to stay away from bold colours, showy pinstripes or windowpane designs, as they can look too loud and garish.
The idea is that your personality, experience and background should be speaking for you. This goes without saying but make sure that the suit you choose is clean and pressed. Crisp and neat is the key when deciding on what to wear for an interview.
You can never go wrong with a white shirt. Again simplicity is the key. Make sure it has a simple shirt collar, not one of those horrible double collars and avoid contrasting white collar and cuffs.
Go for 100% cotton, no blends and again make sure the shirt is as clean and crisp as possible. I would even go as far as to suggest purchasing a new one for the interview. If you are feeling a little adventurous, a shirt in a lighter shade of blue, will look great with a grey suit
The tie is extremely important. As you are keeping the rest of your outfit fairly simple and classic, your tie will be the first thing the employer will notice on you.
I would still keep away from anything too bright or fancy. A block colour or a neat pattern, such as a classic stripe or small dot will be fine. Remember the brain is a funny thing. The colour red for example is subconsciously associated with power.
And according to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, most employers said blue was the best colour to wear to an interview and orange was the worst, as they thought it looked unprofessional. Try to refrain from statement-making with your outfit. No bow ties and keep the matching pocket square minimal, again a crisp white pocket-square would be best.
Check out Style Boxes from Me My Suit & Tie as an easy way to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.
Black laced up shoes are the safe choice, although brown has become more acceptable in recent years. Try to keep away from buckles or slip-ons for an interview and make sure whatever shoes you pick are clean and polished. To finish, your shoes should also match your belt in colour.
Minimise jewellery. Remove piercings and bracelets. Especially those festival bands you may have had on your wrist since 2009. A watch is a must but keep it classic. No sport watches and it should have either a metal or leather strap (preferably matching your shoes and belt). Remove all rings unless it is the one that will get you in trouble at home.
Usually, I would always encourage you to shave the day of the meeting, but beards seem to be everywhere at the moment. This should ultimately come down to your research, again if you are not sure, then shave it off.
However, when it comes to beards, there is a difference between a beard and scruffy stubble. If you have been growing an impressive beast for a few months, then you might get away with it, as it could show patience and focus.
On the other hand, if you turn up looking like you haven’t been bothered to shave for a week, you may come across as lazy and uninterested.
Get a haircut a few days before. Keep it neat and apply a little product on the day, to help control your barnet. Don’t use anything too heavy or wet looking, as it may end up looking greasy. Instead, try something a little dryer with a matte finish.