Dress to Impress: Interviews
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Facing an interview is hardly ever a relaxing experience. If you’re anything like I am, facing one is always a nerve wracking experience, with plenty of butterflies fluttering about in your gut. Whether we like it or not, first impressions are important, and having a wardrobe breakdown in the morning of the interview or turning up in uncomfortable clothes would only make things even harder for you.
However, interviews (and planning your outfit for one), doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. With a few simple choices and some planning, you’ll easily be able to ‘ace’ your way through any possible wardrobe emergencies and impress the interviewing panel. You’d also be able to feel more comfortable during the interview process itself, which will help both make a good impression, and give you that boost of confidence needed as you knock on that door.
Since it’s the beginning of the year, and job hunters are on the prowl, here are some of our best tips for you to dress to impress at an interview.
Do your homework
One of the biggest mistakes an interviewee could make is to show up for an interview unprepared. Companies that are looking for new employees want people who are enthusiastic, motivated and willing to take initiative (and I’m sure those words would have been mentioned in your CV when applying for the job as well). Therefore, not only your responses to questions, but also your attire can display those characteristics.
It’s important to do your homework and research. Ask around from trusted friends and acquaintances what type of attire would be appropriate to show up in. Remember that it’s far better to be over dressed than to be under-dressed. However, that doesn’t justify you turning up in a three piece suit (unless that’s your expected to show up in).
A good rule of thumb is to choose your outfit depending on company culture and field you’ll be working in. You would expect a very business centric place such as a bank would require amore formal attire than compared to a creative studio. Some common sense can help you easily plan your attire ahead of time, and do have it all prepared at least the night before. Don’t want any last-minute mishaps.
Another great question is what colour scheme would you choose and how it may affect your performance and impression at the interview. The answer to that lies in colours and the messages that our brains register with those colours.
Needless to say, any colours that appear excessively vibrant or dim are not good choices. So don’t be eager to wear that fluorescent-orange top just yet. Your goal is to stand out from the crowd, but not with the clothes you wear.
Black is a very versatile colour that can be both formal and casual. Pairing black with other conservative colours such as grey and blue will help you exude a professional aura. Pick through your wardrobe and find a good combination with these colours, and then pair it with a hint of red.
Soothing blue vs. fiery red
Statistically, the fighter in the red corner of a boxing match is more likely to win, and that statistic has some science beneath it.
The colour red, registers as aggressive or dominant in our subconscious when we see it, causing us to act more defensively. In contrast to that, the colour blue comes off as more soothing, calming and steadfast. Having a good combination of the two colours not only helps you look amazing, but give you a psychological advantage that could possibly help you when having to face an interview.
When incorporating the colour red, don’t go overboard though. Using too much of the colour in your outfit would only reduce its effect on projecting a dominant image onto the interviewing panel.
Be well groomed
You don’t need any fancy accessories or even outfits to impress your interviewers. Conservative-style outfits with the right colour choices are more than enough to make the right impression.
However, no outfit can compensate for poor grooming. Being well groomed and maintaining your appearance doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, looking for the priciest salon.
A neat and clean cut appearance goes a long way and definitely helps you make the best impression possible.
Only the basics
These are only some of the basics of how to dress to impress at an interview. There is so much more to learn from what’s out there. Now that you’re armed with the information needed to ‘ace’ that interview coming up, we wish you all the best on your journey up the corporate ladder.