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Job Interview Dressing.
Make The Right First Impression!

On the previous page we talked about the need to prepare for interview and gave advice on how to research the company and the job.

Here we talk about job interview dressing and general appearance.

Job Interview Dressing

For some this might seem like common sense, but we see a surprising number of candidates who are inappropriately dressed for their job interview -- though they clearly think they are not.

Remember that the role of the interviewer is to assess the applicants. The first assessment will be on your physical appearance and this will tell the interviewer a fair bit about your professionalism and motivation. You might not like it, or think it's fair, but it's human nature to make an initial assessment based on appearance.

Wear smart, professional, conservative clothes. For men this means a suit, or a least a shirt and tie. For women, a suit, smart trousers/skirt and shirt, or a simple dress will suffice. Dress smartly, even if you know the work environment is casual.

Other Aspects of Your Appearance

It's not only your clothes that you need to organize. Coordination of your overall appearance is also an important part of job interview dressing. This includes the color and style of your accessories such as your shoes, your bag, and the jewelry, perfume and make-up you wear.

To help you, here's a checklist to follow:

  • Iron your interview clothes and do it well. You may kid yourself that no-one is going to see your shirt cuffs with your jacket on, but you'll regret it when the interview room gets hot and you are invited to remove your jacket but fear doing so!
  • Make sure your footwear is clean (and polished). The shoes you wear should complement the style and color of your clothes.
  • Ensure your hair is clean and tidy. If it is going to need a cut before the interview, don't leave it until the day before unless you know you are going to like it. Arriving for an interview feeling bad about your hair will not help you.
  • Check your nails. It may seem just a tiny part of your appearance but during the interview your hands will always be noticed.
  • Make your scent pleasant but not irritable. Use a light-scent perfume or aftershave.
  • Have fresh breath. Take a toothbrush and paste and have a quick brush when you arrive at the office. You can also chew gum or other breath freshener candies, but remember to throw away gum before the interview starts.
  • Make your face presentable as well. If you're wearing make-up, make it simple and natural.

Interview Rash

Job interviews, especially for first-timers, may cause the nerves to hyper-react. As the job interview proceeds, the body's temperature goes up and the skin gets red. For some people, rashes become visible around the chest and neck.

When this happens applicants tend to focus on the irritation rather than on the interview conversation.

The best way to handle this is to be prepared. If you know you suffer from interview rash, wear a top or underclothes with a high collar. Knowing that the rash is unnoticeable, you can be more focused on the questions and be more intelligent in your answers.

You might also want to tell the interviewer to expect it so that he/she is prepared too

One candidate did this in a job interview with us recently. She said something like this:

"Just before we begin, I wanted to let you know that I sometimes develop a rash during interviews. It's just nerves though, nothing contagious".

We laughed and no-one paid any attention when the rash developed.

How Else Can I Prepare For Interview?

As well as job interview dressing, think about how to calm your interview nerves and what kind of body language to display or avoid. To help you here are some tips for job interview on nerves and body language.

job interview dressing

The impression you make when you arrival is also important, so download this Job Interview Guide and we'll include top tips on making a great impression on arrival at your interview, plus a FREE BONUS.

job interview dressing

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