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First impressions: How to dress for an interview
You’ve graduated, worked hard to get to get your resume up to scratch and now it’s time to start attending interviews. Don’t let the last leg let you down. How you appear in an interview is still important – I’ve interviewed enough new people to know that my clients still count this as a tick in the box.
1) First impressions DO count
Whether your interview lasts 20 minutes or an hour and a half, it’s not long enough for anyone to get to know the true you. That’s why the impression you leave with your interviewer after your first meeting is crucial.
Turn up with odd socks, faded jeans and a scruffy t-shirt and they’re bound to think you’re a student who isn’t ready for the world of work. Show up in a work-ready outfit and they’ll immediately be able to imagine you as part of their team.
2) Overdress, don’t underdress
It doesn’t matter which company you are interviewing with – it is ALWAYS better to be overdressed in an interview than underdressed. So what if you’re wearing a trouser/skirt suit and the rest of the office is in chinos? Don’t risk turning up to a formal office environment when you’re in your casual clothes – you have plenty of time to suss out the appropriate work attire when you get the job, so for now stay on the safe side.
Get my (and some other great recruiters) further advice in The Naked CEO’s recruitment video series:
Find out more on The Naked CEO website.
3) Talk to your recruiter
Your recruitment consultant has a relationship with the hiring manager you’re about to meet and they probably know a fair amount about the type of office environment you’re about to enter for your interview (if it’s being held on their premises). Generally speaking, we will have a long-term relationship with the companies we send you to for job interviews and it’s not a problem for us to find out how formal they expect their first meeting with you to be, so ask us.
Other than that – it’s all common sense: manners, good presentation and great interview prep and you’re well on your way!
It’s not all down to appearances, but remember the following:
1) First impressions do count – so leave your interview with a positive one
2) Opt for overdressing over underdressing – you can come back from one, but not the other
3) Get the details from your recruiter, they’re in the know