The stress of an interview is a turbulent force that we all have to navigate through at one point in our lives. The intense scrutiny which awaits behind those doors is enough to bring some would-be employees to tears. There are a number of variables in an interview that we can prepare for, such as the dreaded questions: “Why do you want to work for us?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, yet how we present ourselves in terms of body language and clothing choice is just as important to get right.
It’s well documented that first impressions matter, with some studies suggesting that employers have more or less made their decision within 90 seconds of meeting you on whether to hire you or not. Therefore, what kind of things should we take into account when we are deciding what to wear to an interview?
The Company Culture
A critical mistake would be doing no research on the company’s ethos, such as applying for a job in a cool start-up office and showing up in a pristine suit with a briefcase – overdressing can sometimes be a bad thing. Understanding the company culture will give you an upper hand in an interview. However, dressing up for an interview is a must. Even if you’re looking to find a software engineering job in a tech company where most employees wear their most comfortable clothes at work, you shouldn’t appear at your interview with your home clothes on. Do not overdress yet keep up with the right attire for a great first impression. A good practice is finding out what the day to day attire of the office is like and matching the style of current employees.
What Will You be Doing?
Is it just a standard interview format, such as a Q&A session with your perspective interviewer? Or will there be other activates involved? Imagine having an interview where you’re taking an hour-long tour of the company’s premises – in high heels. You don’t want to be hobbling around with sore feet and then try to sell the best version of yourself. Be sure to talk to the company’s HR department beforehand to find out what the interview process will contain.
What Should You Say?
Knowing what to say or not say is obviously critical during an interview. Suggesting different softwares that you believe would help the business, would be a great thing to do as this shows you have researched the business and understand the company. Suggesting something such as HR software would be a good shout as that is something that could generally help the business.
Take Note of the Season
There’s no point dressing for the summer when you’re in the dead of winter. With the company’s ethos still in mind, style accordingly and check what retailers are offering for their seasonal lines. Peter Hahn for example, are offering 60% off certain outfits, so be sure to take advantage of the seasonal range that companies are offering.
Ultimately, look for inspiration in others, but bring your own style into the office and showcase your winning personality – coupled with an outfit that will impress at first sight.