According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look.
So, yes, of course it makes a difference what you wear to the interview.
Like so many other things you do to get work, dressing right needs research and preparation. You need to research the organization you are hoping to join.
In general it is best to dress conservatively. Even if that means in some organizations, for example in the Arts, you will choose smart casual. Smart casual means what it says, smart, neat and, for an interview, keep it mainstream.
For most organizations, it will be best to keep to smart office wear; a suit in one dark colour with a coordinated blouse or shirt in a light colour – white if you can wear it.
As for shoes, for women keep to a dark court shoe with a moderate heal and for men go for dark socks and professional shoes. Ties with logos are best avoided – again be reserved.
Go for a limited amount of jewellery and neat, clean hair. Nails need to be clean and manicured. Go lightly with the scent/aftershave. If someone on the panel starts to sneeze they certainly will not be concentrating on you. And that is the secret; you want the panel to concentrate on you, and on what you are saying and not on how you have dressed.
It should go without saying that your clothes should be clean and freshly pressed. If you have to travel a long way to get to the interview then consider using a suit bag and changing nearby.
If you do need to eat and drink in your interview clothes before the interview then do so with care and make sure crumbs are brushed off.
If possible leave travel bags outside the interview room. If you carry anything into the room it is best for it to be a portfolio or a brief case and make sure you can get access to a clean tissues just in case, in all the tension, your own nose starts to run.
Just like most other things you do to get a job, dressing for the interview is about research and preparation. But dressing well and appropriately really will help with your confidence on the day and it will certainly help you make your best impression.
- So you have an interview – how will you make your mark? (leavingthepublicsector.blogspot.com)
- Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics (leavingthepublicsector.net)
- Writing your CV! Part 2 Making Choices (leavingthepublicsector.net)
- Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees! (leavingthepublicsector.net)
Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439