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Dressing for the interview

Well, he seemed to have it all right. Dark coloured pants, and a light coloured shirt, a pleasant smile followed by a greeting… and unpolished, scuffed leather shoes. It took no longer than a few seconds for the interviewer to change his first good impression of the candidate.

Why is paying attention to clothing important?

Clothes maketh the man/woman… This is much truer during an interview, as clothes

  • Communicate about who we are and how well we fit into the company.
  • Play a distinct role in creating a good first impression.

Employers irrespective of the position, look for candidates who take their job seriously and therefore your clothes, accessories, shoes, bag all add to your image you are projecting during the interview.

All of us have distinct styles of communicating about ourselves. Therefore, it is just as important to plan your physical appearance as gearing up to answer questions.

General guidelines

  • Your clothes should convey a professional image.

  • Dress conservatively, unless specified otherwise.

  • When in doubt, opt for the conservative style.

  • Always wear clean and neat clothing; make sure it is pressed.

  • Plan a separate interview wardrobe.

  • If possible, before your interview, find out how people dress at the place of employment.

  • Avoid overdressing, as it is more likely to turn the interviewer off.

  • Make sure you are comfortable in the clothes that you are wearing – unfamiliar or tight clothing might affect your performance

  • Avoid loud and gaudy colours.
  • Use mild deodorants instead of overpowering colognes and perfumes.

Dressing tips for men

  • Suits or shirt and tie, preferably light shirt and dark coloured pant.
  • Tie should be silk with a conservative pattern
  • Learn how to tie a good knot in your tie

  • Go for the clean-shaven look unless you are sporting a well-groomed beard.
  • Moustache should be neatly trimmed.
  • Carry a clean hanky in your pocket

  • Have clean, recently cut, and neatly brushed hair
  • Clean polished dark conservative shoes and dark socks.

  • Do not have visible body piercing (rings, earrings)
  • Carry a light briefcase or portfolio case

Tips for women

  • A saree, salwar or suit as per the job profile.
  • Simple clothes and quiet colours are most suitable.
  • Use conservative sandals or polished shoes that goes well with your clothes.
  • Be sure that your jewellery accentuates your professional attire rather than detracting from it
  • Use minimal makeup.
  • Avoid noise-making jewelry such as anklets, bracelets.
  • Hair should be neatly trimmed and conservative. Hair color should look natural.
  • Avoid jarring nail polish colours, unclean nails.
  • Avoid very tight clothes and high-heeled shoes.
  • Carry a briefcase instead of purse.

Clothing and accessories do not have to be expensive to make a good impression, but they should always be in good taste and clean. They should also be toned down rather than wild or extravagant. They should convey simplicity and comfort.

You want the interviewer's attention to be focused on you, not on your clothes.

Also Checkout
Facing the interview and winning
Frequently asked questions during interview
Fighting interview anxiety
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