Job Interview Dress Code
Dress To Impress For The Job Interview

Your resume has highlighted your knowledge and skills, and granted you that interview. Now it is time to really impress. As the saying goes, ‘the presentation and packaging is everything’.

Are You Wearing Inappropriate Attire To The Job Interview?
The all important job interview is coming and you are feeling nervous but confident. You have been anticipating the questions they might ask, and have even prepared some impressive responses. Extra copies of your resume have been placed in your backpack and .... hang on a second, am I really going to walk into this important job interview carrying my backpack? Come to think of it, what is it I should be wearing on this ‘quite probable’ career changing day? Before answering this question, it is advisable to ask yourself a few questions:

Should I Be Carrying Anything At All?
By all means, feel free to leave the backpack at home. You want to look professional, not like you are taking a stroll around the university grounds. It is certainly permitted for a woman to carry a small to medium sized handbag, and a man or woman can carry a briefcase if he or she is so inclined. But for practical purposes, sometimes just a folder or portfolio will suffice.

What Should I Wear To The Job Interview?
It is usually a pretty safe bet to just wear a nice suit for a job interview. Try to go with a plain straightforward suit in a neutral tone. The more conservative the prospective career field, the more conventional your suit should be. For example, if you are applying for a position in an investment firm, then it would be advisable to go with a navy blue or dark gray suit.

What If The Job Interview Is For A Position In A More Casual Situation?
It is always a good idea to try and match your job interview attire with the prospective position, when in doubt, as mentioned above, it is always a safe bet to wear a straightforward plain or informal suit. If for argument sake you were applying for a position to work on a warehouse floor, you will look rather out of place attending the interview wearing a formal suit. With this scenario in mind, strive to dress modestly and a little better than you would usually for a day at work in that position and make certain that your clothes are neat and clean.

The Job Interview Is For A Position In An Accounting Firm, But The Boss Seems So Casual And Relaxed?
Usually this career field is conservative, but this particular firm may be a little more casual. Once again, you cannot go wrong by choosing to wear a suit, remember that the suit is for the purpose of providing a good impression, after the interview, and if you have been chosen for the advertised position you can then adjust your attire to something more matching your colleagues. Basically follow the standard rule of dressing better for the sake of the interview than you would for a typical day at the office.

Should I Buy A New Suit For The Interview?
It is not necessary to purchase a new suit so long as your current suit fits properly and is in good condition. If you do decide on purchasing a new suit, make sure to purchase the best possible suit you can afford. Also make sure that it is just an informal or business suit as you do not want anything too trendy, trendy suits soon become outdated and you want your investment to last.

What Type Of Shoes Should I Wear To The Interview?
It is important to wear closed toed shoes in all circumstances. Wearing open toed sandals are never appropriate for any job interview, and open toed shoes are deemed to be unsafe for most working conditions. To be safe it is advisable to wear sensible black shoes that will usually match everything. Women should consider a more conservative style and not wear high heels.

Should I Buy New Shoes For The Interview?
No it is not necessary to purchase new shoes, unless they are in bad condition, unsafe, or outdated. Try sprucing them up a little with some shoe polish, remember the whole point here is to make a good impression.

What Should I Do About My Nails For The Interview?
Ensure your fingernails are clean when attending the job interview. It is amazing how much attention is drawn to someone’s hands when they have dirty fingernails. A man's fingernails should be cut short, a woman's fingernails can be longer but not exceptionally long and should be bare or polished with a neutral colour.

I Usually Wear Jewellery, Should I Wear It For The Interview?
Wearing unassuming jewellery is fine, but do not wear large earrings or thick chains. Keep in mind that you do want to draw attention to yourself, but not for the wrong reasons.

Should I Consider Wearing Makeup For The Interview?
Absolutely, but keep it simple, remember we do not want to draw attention for the wrong reasons. The natural look is better so do not paint the makeup on, just use neutral colours to highlight your natural beauty.

Congratulations! You have made it through the first step of the recruitment process,
You now have to make an unforgettable impression at the all important job interview!

Appearance Is Paramount
Appearance is paramount whether we like it or not, it is the first thing the prospective employer will notice about us. This is why planning out your interview attire is so important. On one hand you want to make a good impression with your dress sense, but on the other hand you do not want your appearance to detract from your capabilities or from what you feel you can bring to the company. Dress fittingly for the position you are applying for, if those already working in the position wear suits, then that is what you should wear to the job interview. Even if the usual work attire for the position is slightly less casual, you should still consider wearing a suit for the interview. Good hygiene and grooming is essential to making the desired first impression. Your hair should be combed neat and fashionable. Your fingernails should be well clean and manicured. A man’s fingernails should be short in length, a woman's fingernails should be only of a reasonable length and polished with a neutral colour. Women should use makeup sparingly only in an attempt to highlight natural features. Both male and female should avoid overpowering perfume or cologne as certain individuals may find particular scents offensive or the scents may even cause allergic reactions.

Establishing Rapport
The prospective employer already suspects that you have the necessary experience, knowledge, and skills, for the advertised position, but he or she now wants to find out if you will engage both professionally and personally with his or her other employees. The employer needs to be certain that a new employee will fit well within the company’s culture. You want to allow the prospective employer to get to know you and the way to facilitate this is by establishing rapport. To allow for the natural initiation of establishing rapport, it is advisable to allow the interviewing manager to set the tone, for example, wait for him or her to extend their hand for a handshake, and be ready to offer your hand immediately, you are basically displaying that you are willing to go with the flow. Certain experts will suggest talking at the same tone and rate as the interviewing manager, for example, if the interviewing manager is speaking in a soft tone and slowly, then so should you.

Body Language
Body language tells the interviewing manager more about you that what you say. It goes without saying that making eye contact when you speak is significant, but make sure it looks natural, you do not want to come across as dishonest or possessed. If you can manage it, considering you may be dealing with nervousness, a smiling relaxed disposition is very inviting. Hands resting casually in your lap or arms open out in front of you as opposed to arms folded across your chest indicates that you are open and not guarded. If you usually move your hands around a when you speak, try to tone it down a bit. While you do not want to look too stiff, you do not want to appear like you are a bundle of nervous energy either.

When answering questions, hold your head up and speak slowly and clearly. By pausing briefly before you begin answering, your answers will appear less rehearsed and it will give you a chance to collect your thoughts. Keep in mind that a brief pause may seem like an eternity to you, but to the interviewing manager it will seem like you have carefully considered their question and are answering accurately to the best of your ability. It doesn’t hurt to prepare some answers to some questions you think you might be asked either.

Winding Up The Interview
When the interviewing manager has finished questioning you, you will probably be asked if you have any questions for them. It would be of benefit for you to have some questions prepared to ask them. Ask questions relating to a typical day on the job or particular projects you may be involved with. Questions like this will show the interviewing manager that you are seriously interested in working there. Do not ask about benefits, vacations, or salary as these questions all imply ‘what will you do for me’.


Good luck with the job interview!
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