Saturday, 2 June 2012

Interview Preparation: What to wear for an interview

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It hadn’t occurred to me that I should write a blog post regarding interview attire, and it was only when someone requested it that I started to think about the implications of what we wear. Let me start by saying - employers have the tendency of using the phrase ‘informal chat’ to refer to an interview. Immediately you may ponder what an 'informal chat' is and thus whether your outfit should reflect this. The answer is that employers will want to calm your nerves and will use the phrase 'informal chat' as opposed to 'formal interview'. No matter what phrase they use formal attire is appropriate – unless they’ve stated otherwise. 
Below I’ve created a few pointers that you should consider when preparing for your interview.

1) Invest in a new outfit
If you don’t have anything relatively new, by this I mean younger than 2 years, then invest in a brand new outfit. When choosing a new outfit you should consider the employer and what other people who work in the company look like. If you’re not sure then you can’t go wrong with a classic black suit. In this situation it’s best to look overdressed than underdressed. After all, an outfit is the first impression that the employers will get – and you’ll want to give them the best impression possible.

2) Pay attention to detail
Don’t forget to pay attention to the small details. For example, make sure that your hair is clean and styled appropriately. Check that your nails are clean, and if you’re female, make sure your nail polish is tidy. Lastly, shoes will need to be clean and not scuffed. Trust me - all these small details will be examined by the interviewer.

3) Don’t take the ‘informal’ phrase lightly
Okay, I know some industries will vary. For example, if you’re going for an interview at Abercrombie and Fitch, then clothing and style is an important aspect of the interview, and so a formal suit won’t be necessary. If you’re in doubt keep your outfit formal and professional as most of the time this is what the employer will expect.

4) Other extras to consider
If you have any tattoos or piercings then cover those up because you’ll want to look as professional as possible. This is appropriate during the interview too, so remove any chewing gum and keep your mobile phone switched off.

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