Job interviews are stressful. Even when you know you are a great candidate and are very confident in your ability to do the job, nerves set in. In the current economy, interviews become even more stressful because if you mess up on your interview, you don’t know when the next one will come along.
There are a lot of things you can do to help you prepare for an interview. One of these things is choosing the right outfit, a task that might not be as easy as you think. Follow the guidelines below as a starting point for picking out your winning interview outfit. Once you are dressed for success, your winning personality and intellect can take over and a new job will be yours before you know it.
Wear clothes that fit well. Make sure that your clothing is the proper size—not too snug or too loose. Pick items that are figure flattering. Select articles that emphasize your best features and downplay your less than stellar spots.
If you have any questions about what cuts of clothing are best for you, do a quick search for articles about dressing for your body-type. There are tons of articles out there that let you know what looks best for someone built like you.
Some career coaches are mortified at the idea that anyone would ever go to an interview in anything but a suit. There are others that balk at the idea of a candidate donning a three piece to interview for a gig stocking shelves. If the experts can’t agree, it’s understandable that it’s tough for you to decide.
Here’s what you do—think to yourself, “If I got this job, what would I wear to work every day?” For the interview, you should dress like that at minimum, but probably even better. If you are interviewing for a position where you would be dressed super casually, opt to dress better than you would on the job. A prospective cook will have a better chance if he or she wears nice pants and button-down to an interview instead of stained chef’s pants and an old t-shirt.
Accessories are nice. They show that you are fun and fashionable. Accessories let other see a little splash of your personality. I would say accessories are a must, but please, don’t overdo it.
You should make sure your accessories aren’t distracting. You want the interviewer looking at your face, not looking at your big dangly earrings. Keep accessories small and to a minimum for your interview.
Job interviews are not the place for low-cut shirts or skin-tight pants with very few exceptions. Unless you are interviewing for a position that requires you showing a little skin, dress conservatively.
No cleavage should be visible from your chest, buttocks or anywhere else. Your clothing should not be so tight that it looks painted on. Skirts and dresses need to be long enough that the wearer can sit and bend-over, probably falling at least an inch beyond your fingertips when your hands hang at your sides.
There are so many factors that go into an employer’s decision as to whether or not they will hire you. By dressing appropriately and well for your interview, you are ensuring that you will be considered based on your merits, experience and personality. You want to get a job based on your skills and potential, and it would be a shame not to get that position because you wore a big, distracting necklace or didn’t think you needed to bother with jacket and tie.