How to Dress for an Interview: 4 Rules for Success


We know that first impressions count, but did you know that they are usually formed within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone? This is why selecting the right job interview outfit is so important.

A key influencing factor in first impressions is how we dress. This is very true of interview situations and the impact that our job interview outfit can make should not be underestimated. How you present yourself and your appearance does play a considerable role in an employer’s decision about whether to hire you, or not.

If you want to know how to make a great impression and how to dress for an interview, here are four rules for success.

How to dress for an interview

1. You need to show that you will fit in

When making hiring decisions, employers always visualise how and where you will slot into their organisation. You can make this visualisation process a whole lot easier by dressing in a way that reflects the company culture.

Do some research prior to your interview and try to find out what the company dress code is. You then need to match this in what you wear for your job interview. While it is always important to dress smartly for an interview, turning up to a company that embraces a casual dress code in a 3 piece suit is just not going to work.

2. Be careful about which colours you wear

You may not always realise it, but what colours you wear can influence how a person views your skills. Here is a list of what hiring professionals generally associate interview outfit colours with:

Black – Leadership
Blue – Team Player
Grey – Logical
White – Organised
Brown – Dependable
Red – Power
Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple – Creative

When meeting someone for the first time in a professional setting, the darker conservative colours are usually your safest bet. But if you are interviewing for a role with a very creative company then you may want to consider adding a splash of colour.

3. Be sure to dress appropriately

There are a number of common job interview outfit errors that generally put employers off. These include:

  • Discoloured white shirts
  • Creased clothing
  • Clothing that is too tight
  • Not wearing a jacket (with a suit) or taking it off before the interview
  • Skirts that are too short
  • Having too much cleavage on show
  • Wearing a lot of make-up
  • Wearing strong perfume or aftershave
  • Not wearing any antiperspirant

4. Ensure that you feel comfortable and confident

It is important that you appear confident when attending an interview so help yourself out by wearing something that makes you feel that way. You also want to be able to relax, so don’t wear anything that will make you feel uncomfortable.

Wearing the right job interview outfit will help you to make the right first impression and to perform at your best. Remember, if you are applying for jobs then you should have your interview outfit ready to go at short notice because you never know when you will receive a call inviting you to an interview the very next day!

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