12 Nov Dress to impress

It is said that an interviewer makes a judgment about the applicant in the first five minutes of the interview, and spends the rest of the time justifying the judgment to themselves. It is vital that you prepare for interviews, and preparing your presentation is no exception.

The following are a few tips on how to present yourself for interviews:

  • It’s always better to overdress than to under-dress. If you under dress the interviewer may think that you do not care about the job. Interviewers will assume that your appearance in the interview is your best.
  • A conservative approach is generally best
  • Hair: Keep hair neat and cut regularly, if appropriate. Try and keep it natural looking and away from your face. Needless to say, wash your hair before an interview and make sure it is properly dried.
  • Make-up and jewellery- don’t overdo it. Apart from ladies ears, body piercing and tattoos should not be visible. Don’t put on too much perfume or aftershave- what you enjoy, someone else may find offensive.
  • Nails should be the same length, clean and neat. No nail polish for ladies is better than chipped nail polish or nail polish that is too bright or clashes with the outfit.
  • Men should wear a solid coloured suite, white shirt and tie. If you do not feel comfortable in a blazer, try still wear the tie. Third choice is to wear an open necked shirt and fourth choice a collared T Shirt or golf shirt. T Shirts, jeans and shorts shouldn’t even be a consideration!
  • Ladies should also wear a solid coloured suite with clean lines. When deciding what colour to wear, try and think of what colours men wear- navy, black, grey, beige. This is the basis of “power dressing”. You can then soften the outfit with your choice of blouse or scarf. If you cannot afford a suite, a pair of trousers or a knee/ ankle length skirt in the above colours with a simple blouse or jersey can look equally as elegant.
  • Shoes must be clean and conservative. Ladies should not wear high heals if they are tall or not used to wearing high heals. Men should wear socks that match their outfit and shoes- not white socks.

Make sure you try on the outfit BEFORE the day of the interview
Your clothes are your image, check the mirror and see what others see
If it is too tight or too loose- don’t wear it!!!
Your CV and portfolio is part of your image. Make sure it is well presented and your handbag or briefcase is clean. Don’t take your CV along on CD or disk
It is easy to get lazy about your presentation at interviews when you are going for lots of interviews. Every interview counts, especially those with employment agencies. The employment agency will make notes on your appearance and this will determine what sort of companies they forward your CV to.