In a job interview, employers don’t always hire the most knowledgeable or experienced candidate. They are also looking for candidates who will fit in with their corporate culture. They are going to make that decision within a few seconds of seeing you, so the first impression you make has to be right.
If you’re heading into a corporate environment, you can’t go wrong with a suit. Our fashion stylist David Clemmer says, “Almost everyone looks great in a well-fitted suit. It presents an aura of strength and confidence, especially for women.” He suggests a dark colour with either matching pants or skirt.
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At a more casual job environment, don’t overdress. A great casual look is a tailored or well-fitted pair of trousers, a fresh-looking shirt or blouse, and a pair of stylish shoes that don’t show your toes. Provocative outfits are definitely a no-no as they will hurt your credibility. “Don’t sell yourself short by letting your outfit send out the wrong message,” Clemmer says.
If you’re not sure what to wear, make a preliminary visit to the office and check out the dress code. Then aim to dress slightly better; never dress down from what you expect your interviewer to be wearing.
If you are just out of school, it may be a good idea to get professional help from a stylist. They can help you determine your body type and find clothes that flatter you. They can also advise you on the best colours to wear based on your skin tone, eye colour and hair colour.
Personal grooming makes a huge impact. Start with clean, trim fingernails, and hair that’s washed and styled. Body odour or food odour can have a negative impact on the people around you.
The final tip is to arrive for your interview early instead of rushing in sweaty and disorganized. Walk in with your head up and shoulders back. Give your interviewer a firm handshake and have the confidence to know you’re right for the job.
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