What considerations to take when dressing for a job interview

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What considerations to take when dressing for a job interview

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Interviewing for a job is rarely easy. However, knowing you look smart and professional can give you courage and help you present your best self. Here at KLC Recruitment, we think it’s important to take some time to consider your appearance before an interview so you can put your best foot forward confidently.


Why your appearance matters in a job interview


Humans need as little as 33 milliseconds to form consequential first impressions, as revealed in a study by researchers at the University of York. This brief moment of time is all it takes to judge another’s trustworthiness and status.


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People start forming strong first impressions within the first brief moment. Make sure yours is positive!


Walking into your job interview, you want to make as much use of that 33 ms as possible. Your appearance reflects a lot about you to an interviewer, and the level of care and attention you give to it can say much about how you view the opportunity. So how can you best represent yourself within that first moment and throughout the rest of the interview?


Top five basic rules for dressing for a job interview


Whether you’re a man or a woman, there are a few things you can do when dressing for a job interview that will put you in good stead:

  • Shower and brush your teeth before your interview.
  • Make sure your clothes are freshly washed and wrinkle-free.
  • Avoid bright or overwhelming colours and patterns, or too many accessories.
  • Dress up. Research the employer’s dress code, and take your interview outfit up another notch.
  • Choose well-fitted clothes that you’re comfortable in.

While you want to make a good impression and stand out, you don’t want what you’re wearing to detract your interviewers’ attention from the answers you’re giving. Show personality through your responses, and ensure they’re focusing on your accomplishments and what you can bring to the company, not the intricate details of your outfit. Keeping it clean, classic, and simple is a good way for you to achieve this. You can still choose something interesting that brings out your character but avoid anything overwhelming.

Ensure that you’re comfortable in your attire. It’s easy to see when someone feels out of place in what they’re wearing. If you’re constantly fidgeting and adjusting your clothes, it’s likely to distract the interviewer and make you look less secure and self-confident.


How men should dress for a job interview

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Don’t underestimate the power of a suit for making a strong impression at an interview.


Choosing your attire for your job interview


As a male, you’ll find some standard rules when it comes to choosing what outfit to wear, and investing in a few basic necessities gives you options for any type of interview.

The first is that you’ll find it difficult to go wrong with a sharp, well-fitted suit. A good colour choice here is either charcoal grey or navy blue – avoid solid black. If you’re buying a new suit, ensure that you get it early on to allow for any fine tailoring that’s needed. Choose a decent quality tie and knot it correctly, so that it hangs at the right length. Make sure your belt and shoes match, and that socks are dark in colour and don’t draw attention.

For an interview with a company that has a more business casual dress code, leave the suit jacket behind but choose smart trousers and match them with a button down shirt. To maintain an extra level of professionalism, keep the tie as well.


Grooming tips for your job interview


It’s not just your attire that you should think about when preparing for an interview, but grooming as well.

  • Brush and tidy your hair. Organise a haircut for before the interview if it’s been a while since you’ve had one.
  • Cut and clean your nails.
  • Shave on the day, or trim and shape your facial hair.
  • If you’re wearing cologne, keep it subtle.


How women should dress for a job interview


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Make sure your outfit choice complements, but doesn’t outshine, your personality.


Choosing your attire for your job interview


Females generally have more options to choose from when it comes to dressing for a job interview. However, the same basic principles apply. You should look at more conservative cuts, materials, designs, and colours to allow the focus to remain on you, while still choosing pieces that reflect your personal style.

If you’re headed to a formal interview consider a pant or skirt dress suit, matched with a shirt or blouse. Another good choice is a tailored dress that reaches to your knees.

For a more business casual look, think a blazer, cardigan, or light sweater instead of a suit jacket, and consider a pencil skirt or slacks with a dressy blouse. Don’t wear spaghetti straps, t-shirts, or strapless tops, even when interviewing at a company which allows them in their dress code.

Pick out tidy neutral shoes, with closed toes and a mid heel, and take with you a simple leather purse or briefcase. Avoid wearing too much jewellery and don’t choose anything too extravagant or flashy.


Grooming tips for your job interview


  • Style your hair in a way that won’t distract you.
  • Manicure your hands, but if you’re wearing nail polish make sure it doesn’t draw too much attention.
  • Don’t overdo scents – subtle perfume is best.
  • Keep makeup professional and not too obvious.

Don’t let deciding what you should wear make the interview process more stressful than it needs to be. If you want advice on how best to prepare, KLC Recruitment has the team and the experience to help. Contact us  today to see what we can do for you.





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