Congratulations! You have accomplished the hard part of job hunting, and now you have an important, face-to-face interview for your dream job coming up.  Remember: First impressions last!  Plan your interview outfit carefully and dress for the industry in which you are being interviewed.  What you wear communicates much about who you are and how you see yourself.

It is not only your interview outfit that will make an impression on the employer; colours play an important role in creating a great first impression. Conservative colours, such as black, blue, grey and brown, seem to be the safest bet when meeting someone in a professional setting for the first time. What message do you send to the world with the colour(s) you wear?

Blue

Blue is one of the best colours to wear to a job interview.  Shades of blue send the message that you are credible and trustworthy.  Navy blue is the best colour for a suit, as it inspires confidence. If you wear blue to an interview, you are more likely to get the job.

Black

Black is a colour that is taken seriously and conveys leadership.  This is a great colour to wear if you are being interviewed for a management position.

Grey

Wearing grey communicates independence or isolation.  It may tell others that you are a logical and analytical individual; self-sufficient and capable of thinking on your own.

Brown

With brown, you will send the message of being comforting, warm and reliable – but it can also convey the image that you are simple and old fashioned.  For safety’s sake, avoid brown altogether.

White

Beige and white send the message that you are organised and that you want to make a clean start.  A white suit is probably too much of a statement for a job interview.  Rather combine a white blazer with a pair of black pants or a black dress/pencil skirt.

Red

Red conveys power, but not in a good way.  It can send the message that you are bold and assertive, and you may be regarded as domineering or rebellious.  However, red can be a great colour to wear for an interview in fields such as sales and marketing, where you try to persuade or impress someone.

Purple, yellow and green

These colours communicate that you are fun and attract attention, but they do not send a message of trust or commitment.  When you are interviewing for a position in a creative field, do not be afraid to wear these colours.  Purple sends the message that you are artistic and unique, while yellow projects optimism and creativity.

Denim

A nice jean may be great for day-to-day work at some companies, but an interview is your chance to shine.  Therefore, leave your jeans for another day.

Orange

This is the worst colour to wear to a job interview, as people associate orange with someone who is unprofessional.

The top 10 ‘do not’ when dressing for a job interview:

  1. Poor fitting clothes: Abstain from wearing clothes that are too tight and/or too revealing.
  2. Crazy tie: Rather stick to a plain tie or one with a simple pattern in neutral colours.
  3. Skyscraper heels: Stick to a pair of reasonably sized heels that are comfortable to wear and easy to walk in.  For the men: Do not wear a pair of shoes in a different colour than your belt.
  4. Dirty clothes: Do not arrive with clothes that smell and/or are stained.  Also remember to clean your shoes. Make sure your clothes are ironed, clean, and hole-free.
  5. Do not ever be too casual: You have to follow a formal business dress code, no matter what the company’s dress code is.
  6. Crazy hairstyle: This is applicable to men and women.  Keep your hairstyle simple, yet smart.  Ideally, you would have a trim in the week before your interview to ensure that you look exceptionally smart.
  7. Too much perfume: Go easy on those colognes and perfumes.  You never know whether your interviewer might be allergic to some scents.
  8. Overgrown beard: This creates the impression that you simply do not care.  Keep your beard trimmed and neat.
  9. Jewellery: Wear a reasonable, professional, subtle amount of jewellery.
  10. Bad bag: Your bag may also fulfil a role in the impression you create. Use something smart and classy in a non-offensive colour that complements your outfit.

Whatever the position, you want the interviewer to remember you for your personality and performance – not your clothes.  Dress more conservatively on your first day in a new position, and observe what other employees wear.  Many employers adopt a business-casual dress code in an effort to allow employees to feel more comfortable on the job and to have more freedom of expression through their choice of attire.

Although business-casual attire is casual, it still entails neat informal attire.  It is generally more casual than formal business attire, but more formal than casual.  When you are told to dress in a business-casual manner, it is best to ask for details.

References

  1. http://www.businessinsider.com/best-and-worst-colors-to-wear-to-job-interview-2013-11
  2. http://www.jobsearchbible.com/how-to-dress-for-a-job-interview-10-things-to-avoid/
  3. http://stylecaster.com/colors-you-should-and-should-not-wear-to-a-job-interview/
  4. http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/ivdress.htm
  5. http://www.adzuna.ca/blog/2015/03/20/what-not-to-wear-to-an-interview/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_casual
  7. http://www.wikihow.com/Dress-Business-Casual

 

Created: 10 October 2016

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