How to : How to dress for an interview

Dressing for an interview is one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting, but also one of the most underestimated by job-seekers. Dress for success.

Dressing for an interview is one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting, but also one of the most underestimated by job-seekers. Dress for success.

In job-hunting, first impressions are critical. Remember, you are marketing a product -- yourself -- to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer takes note of when greeting you is your attire; thus, you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking.

Will dressing properly get you the job? Of course not, but it will give you a competitive edge and a positive first impression to the employer.

Should you be judged by what you wear? Perhaps not, but the reality is that you are judged. Let what you wear have some thing to say about you.

By the time you walk from the door to the desk the interviewer would already have summed you up by the first impression, so take care.

Don’t have that flattering feeling ‘my CV is wearing the suit for me’ because what you’re wearing is an added advantage and therefore increases your chances of getting that job.

Throughout the entire job-seeking process, employers use short-cuts -- heuristics or rules of thumb -- to save time. With cover letters, it’s the opening paragraph and a quick scan of your qualifications.

With resumes, it is a quick scan of your accomplishments. With the job interview, its how you’re dressed that sets the tone.

So grab that attention, wearing a suit will call for there extra attention and will give you more esteem to face the interviewers.

How should you dress?

Dressing conservatively is always the safest route, but you should also try and do a little investigation about your prospective employer so that what you wear for the interview reflects on you as a potential to work in that  organization especially with the corporate companies.

If you overdress (which is rare but can happen) or under dress (the more likely scenario), your potential employer may feel that you don’t care enough about the job or you are just not the kind of person to recruit.

How do you find out what is the proper for a given job/company/industry?

You could visit the company’s office to retrieve an application or other company information and observe the dress code for the  employees -- though you have to make sure you are not there on a “casual day” and misinterpret the dress code.

But, always wearing an official suit is the best way to go. Avoid hanging shirts however smart you may look and for the ladies leave the mini skirts home to avoid disrupting the attention of some males as they struggle to pocket.

Notably, one should not rush out to spend a lot of money on clothes for interviewing?

You should make sure you have at least two professional sets of suits, however cheap or expensive.

This helps you not borrow over sized or very tight suits that would just embarrass you before the panel.

Must ‘dos’ for a successful interview preparation for both men and women

Attention to small details is crucial, so here are some tips for both men and women. Make sure you have:

•   Clean and polished conservative dress shoes.

•   Well-groomed hairstyle.

•   Cleaned and trimmed fingernails.

•     Minimal cologne or perfume, avoid body odours.

•    No visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercing for women.

•     Well-brushed teeth and fresh breath.

•     No gum, candy, or other objects in your mouth.

•     Minimal jewellery.

Finally, double check your attire in the shower rooms just before your interview for a final look to build confidence – also to make sure your tie is straight, your hair is combed, your eyes are clean, phew….it irritates to have a dirty face before the panellist.