Did you know that it is easier to continue looking for a job than to prepare for an interview? Sounds weird right? After writing your cover letter and putting together a robust CV, you eventually applied for a job and you got an invite for an interview. The process looks so straight forward and it doesn't take too much from you to apply for more jobs. However, preparing for an interview requires a lot because you need to put in effort and time if you must get that your dream job.
Being called for an interview doesn't mean you have gotten the job already. From statistics, for every position advertised by a business organization, at least 4 persons are interviewed for it. In some cases and in some business organizations, interviewees may go through a series of interviews before being given the job. These processes are not so easy and there are other factors (such as dressing) that contribute to winning an interview.
Without wasting too much of your time, this article will reveal to you how to dress well to impress your interviewer during a job interview.
Why do you need a dress code when going for a job interview?
There is more to how you dress than you may ever think. No wonder they say you are addressed the way you dress. I have never in Nigeria seen where a candidate for a job wears a short knicker and ripped jeans top to an interview. Why is this so? Because almost all businesses in Nigeria are emulating the corporate culture for their staff. You don't want to look too casual to an interview with a reputable company. Putting on a neat and well-ironed attire and a pair of shoes to match would be okay for a profession that doesn't require too much of sitting in the office.
Most companies usually have a dress code for their employees. We are definitely not talking about uniforms for staff, but a dressing pattern that is normally followed by the staff. Therefore, if you must work for such a company that has a dress code, you need to wear an outfit that is similar to what the employees wear when going for an interview in the organization.
Another thing, the type of profession you are into sometimes matters when it comes to dressing. For a professional in engineering, you may not necessarily need to wear a suit and tie for an interview. Most of your jobs will majorly be on the field and what you will need is a clean shirt and trousers. For those in corporate settings such as banking and other related sectors, putting on a suit and tie might be a must because that is the dress code and you must show that you accept it by putting in on for your interview.
While dressing well is not the ultimate in securing a job (you must have the necessary skills needed for the job), not dressing well may pass a wrong signal to the recruiter before the start of the interview, which may give him a wrong, biased perception towards you.
Aside from the outfit you wear to an interview, there are other nonverbal communications that form part of the dress code. Statistically, it shows that about 90% of messages conveyed by a person are represented by non-verbal gestures. Therefore, putting on a beautiful smile, offering a handshake and making eye contact is as important as the dress you wear to an interview.
For men, your shoes must be well-polished and shining, avoid wearing a wrinkled shirt, and your tie must be straight. As for women, be careful of the kind of shoes to wear. The heels of your shoos must be modest so that it doesn't cause you any discomfort when walking to meet the panel of interviewers. Whether you are using a gown or a shirt and skirt, you must make sure they are well-ironed and you look smart in them.
Dress as profession demands
Gone are the days when virtually everyone wears a suit and tie to all interviews, things are beginning to change. While a suit and tie are still very common among interviewees, it is not a must for some persons because it doesn't fit well for some professions.
For a professional in computer science or telecommunications, putting on a pair of jeans and a white shirt may be all that you need for your interview. Don't be carried away by what you wear so that it doesn't affect your confidence level.
As for professionals in finance, legal and business sectors, wearing a formal attire is still the dress code and you must maintain it when going for an interview.
If you are going for an interview and you don't know the dress code for the business organization, a simple research on LinkedIn and Facebook will give you a clue about the organization, which will help you determine what outfit would be better for an interview.
Things to bear in mind when dressing to an interview
When going for an interview, try to be natural and real with the choice of clothing you make. You wouldn't want to put on an outfit that will make you uncomfortable and restrict your body movement.
In some few cases (although very rare in Nigeria), some companies may give dress code for an interview and you should try as much as possible to stick to it. On the other hand, most organizations just want you to dress formal and appear neat to their interviews.
If you must buy a suit for an interview, your choice of colour matters a lot. You wouldn't want to buy a suit that is too flashy, which could draw unnecessary attention to you. The best colour to out are black, grey, ash, and navy blue. If it means going through fashion magazines to check out some nice style of fashion and to choose an appropriate colour of dresses, please do so because it is worth appearing classy to the interview that would lead to your dream job.
When dressing, don't forget to put into consideration your body type and shape. If you need to give your attire to a tailor to help make it look perfect and professional on your body, do that.
Dressing tips for women
Since women tend to be more trendy than men when it comes to fashion and dressing, little has to be said about dressing tips for women. However, at Superprof, it is our aim to see everyone succeed in an interview so we will share some tips that will help women with poor fashion sense.
As a woman, dress modest and avoid outfits that will draw too much attention to some parts of your body. A well-ironed pantsuit with a blouse or a beautifully designed gown would be okay for your interview. Try to avoid awkward colours that may pass negative vibes.
Dressing tips for men
For men, the options are not so many. A well-ironed a pair of trousers, a jacket, a tie, and a light coloured shirt are the basics. However, depending on the profession you are into, you may not need to do heavy dressing for all interviews. For field workers (engineers, IT guys, artist, etc.), a neat shirt and trousers would suffice for interviews. Putting on a charming smile can greatly help complement your dressing. Casual wears are not the best for interviews.
Every work environment will always appreciate a man who has a great dress sense and knows how to combine clothing accessories so as to look classy. It doesn't take too much on a man's path to look classy - a well-polished pair of shoes and a well-ironed shirt and trousers would do the magic.
Personal hygiene is also important for both men and women - keep your fingernails well-trimmed, smell nice by using good deodorants, and don't go to the interview venue in a hurried manner because you may sweat and this could give a bad smell when the sweat dries on your clothes. Take your time to get dressed way before the interview time and go to the venue without any tension or hurriedness.
Dresses not to wear to an interview
Below are some dresses to avoid wearing to an interview:
- skimpy skirts
- outfits that are too tight
- too bright clothes
- Joggers and trainers
- Graphic T-shirt
- Heavy makeup
- excessively high heels