Have you heard the expression, `Dress for Success’? It’s true. It really is important to make a good visual impression at an interview. It’s generally better to err on the formal side so forget about your favourite pair of jeans even if they are a ‘dressed up’ pair! It’s always better to be a little overdressed than feel uncomfortably underdressed.
In addition to clothes, other aspects of appearance are also important to consider in order to make a great at an interview. Here is some advice to consider well before the interview.
What to wear?
In addition to being formally/conservatively dressed, always make sure you feel comfortable in the clothes you choose to wear. Don’t turn up in new shoes that are making your feet feel like they are being punished for some unspeakable crime. Have a practice run and get dressed in the clothes you plan to wear at the interview. Don’t have a skirt that rides up when you sit down. You don’t want to be distracted by feeling uncomfortable. Consider the weather. You don’t want to be uncomfortably hot in an outfit because it’s an unusually hot day and you forgot to check the forecast. You don’t want to be wiping sweat off your face during the interview. The secret to doing well in interviews is to feel as relaxed as possible not feel as though you are being grilled – literally.
What about jewellery?
Once again, err on the conservative side. It’s a very good idea to remove any creative or unusual face ‘attire’ such as nose/eyebrow/tongue/chin studs and rings. Once you are in the course/workplace, you will quickly be able to quickly judge what is acceptable and adjust accordingly.
You want to look your best but remember that you are not going to a wedding. Play it safe and use makeup sparingly.
Err on the safe side and cover up tattoos for interviews. Tertiary institutions may not care, but many employers still do. When you start that course or new job, you will soon be able to see whether anyone has visible tattoos. Some tertiary courses do expect students to be quite conservatively dressed though – Medicine, Dentistry and other Health Science areas.
If you are applying for a position in a particular organization, if possible walk past the organization and see how employees are dressed. Sometimes this is surprisingly easy to do. Now you will feel more at ease knowing that you will be dressed appropriately.