Top 10 Job Interview Attire Tips

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: August 17, 2015

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You’ve made it through the application stage and you’ve secured yourself a job interview, congratulations! You now know that you have the right skills for what the company are looking for, but do you have the right wardrobe?

Although your job-related skills, experience and the way you communicate in your interview is key to your success, you shouldn’t forget to consider your attire. That’s because first impressions count. Although we’re told not to "judge a book by its cover", one of the first things an interviewer will notice about you is your appearance, or most importantly, the way you are dressed.

In fact, a study by Frank Bernieri, a psychology professor at Oregon State University, revealed that an interviewer will decide within the first 10 seconds of meeting you whether you are right for the job. What you wear can tell a lot about you, so by dressing smartly and appropriately, it can show that you care about your appearance, you can make an effort and are professional.

We were surprised to see research by global recruitment agency, Adecco, which said that 75% of hiring managers believe one of the top interview mistakes made by millennials is wearing inappropriate attire. We have therefore shared our top 10 tips below, to help you dress appropriately for your next interview and get the job of your dreams.

Our Top 10 Dress Tips

Lovely female job interview attire with two female colleagues dressed professionally in office

1. Avoid being too casual

Although you might see the likes of Mark Zuckerberg walking around in a hoodie and flip flops, that doesn’t mean you can turn up to an interview in the same attire. Avoid wearing items such as jeans, trainers, sandals, t-shirts and shorts.

2. Dress professionally

A good place to start is a dark suit and tie for men and a plain skirt and shirt for women.

3. Formal business attire

Despite some offices starting to take a more “business casual” approach to workwear, it’s always best to dress in formal business attire for your interview.

4. Consider the job you’re applying for

If it’s a creative role, don’t be afraid to add some colour, as long as it’s in moderation. Jobs in the IT industry may also be more casual, but you should still remain smart and conservative. If you’re unsure, try speaking to someone from within the organisation to find out more about their dress code.

5. For women, don’t wear low cut or tight shirts

Skirts should not be any shorter than 2 inches above the knee. Shoes should not be excessively high or open-toed.

6. For men, make sure you have an up-to-date suit

Male and female professional interview attire tips

With a long-sleeved shirt which is buttoned all the way to the top. It’s also preferable to wear a tie, but avoid any distracting or bright patterns.

7. Pay strict attention to detail

Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed ready for your interview. Don’t forget about your shoes - it’s important that they are clean and properly polished.

8. Don’t forget to accessorise

Add a nice watch or necklace to complete your outfit. Make sure it is not too flashy, otherwise this could give the wrong impression.

9. Go beyond your clothing:

Consider your entire appearance from head to toe. Make sure your hair is well groomed, men should have a shaven face and women’s makeup should not be overdone. If you add perfume or aftershave, make sure it’s not too overpowering.

10. Final check

Before you go into your interview, do a final check, making sure your shirt is tucked in and your shoes are tied.

One tiny little detail can have a big impact when it comes to securing a job, so don’t let that one detail be what you choose to wear. You don’t get a second chance at making a first impression.

Now learn what should you do after a job interview to improve your chances of being hired.

 

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Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabeth Harmon

is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years of experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. She is a writer and journalist for the Open Colleges Careers Blog.

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