I was recently asked to make a presentation to an amazing group of ladies to talk about ‘How to Dress to Impress for Interview Success’
There was certainly plenty to talk about so my next few posts will cover the key aspects you need to consider to help you ‘Clothes that Deal’
Firstly though, Congratulations! You have made the decision to either change your job, go back to work after a baby or career break or even go to work for the very first time. Either way, it’s a bold decision and an exciting step. You’ve bagged that interview – now what?
I hate to break it to you, but your interview preparation needs to be a bit more than considering your answer to ‘ What are your strengths’ – Whilst it’s your aptitude and experience that should get you the post, there is no denying the power of the first impression upon your potential new employers.
7 seconds – yep, that’s all it takes for the interviewer to make assumptions on you and your character simply based on your appearance. How we look, dress and ‘project’ ourselves is the first thing somebody else knows about you, you haven’t had a chance to fill them in on the rest. Perceptions, whether right or wrong, are what we all judge upon at first sight. Don’t let yourself down in those 7 seconds – in a competitive marketplace, it really can give you the edge. The good news is, you can dress for success, and let your personality shine through too!
People make assumptions about professional credibility and potential performance based upon your appearance. Research has shown that judgments are formed based
- 55% on your image
- 38% on your body language
- 7% on what you say
You may be the best qualified candidate, but if you don’t meet initial expectations, you won’t get the chance to prove it!
Considering your Interview outfit
My rules to stick by when putting together that all important interview style:
- Use style to reflect your personality and demonstrate confidence – think smart, but it doesn’t have to be corporate minimal – a splash of color or an accessory – if it makes you feel like you, that confidence will shine.
- No extremes! In style, color, hair, shoes – you can express your individuality without compromising professionalism
- Dressing to impress goes beyond the clothes – make sure your inner confidence matches the outfit – prepare and research as much as you can, so the outfit is simply the finishing touch to your killer job pitch!
- Be sure to stand out for the right reasons – it might be your favourite outfit, but is it appropriate? Remember you’re not going out for dinner or to Ladies Night – this is work. What do others at the company wear? Is there a dress code? Research, research, research!
- Do you know what flatters you? If you haven’t ‘done’ workwear for a while – it might be time for an overhaul full stop. Get in touch if you need help!
- Err on the side of Conservative, but never underdress.
- If it doesn’t make you feel good – don’t wear it!
- Small details matter! – Make sure everything is spotlessly clean and pressed – shoes, tights – anything, check and check again.
- Color is good, but with your research, you’ll know how much is ‘too much’ for your company of choice.
- Positivity! – What you wear won’t matter if you’re not comfortable and self confident – nail that and you’ll exude it!
Your research and homework is as important as what you wear, we can’t say more important, because we know the facts – but the best outfit in the world won’t cover you if you are ill prepared. Unsure about anything? – Call and ask – they’ll be delighted you made the effort. Your interviewer is the gatekeeper to your new career – their opinion matters first and foremost – you need to get past stage 1 – GOOD LUCK!