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What to wear to a job interview

What to wear to a job interview

In part two of our series on corporate dress, we look at what to wear to a job interview. Whilst most of our candidates dress appropriately for their interviews, there are still some that miss the mark. When attending an interview you not only represent yourself, you also demonstrate how you would represent the potential employer - so it’s important to make a positive impression.

We asked corporate and personal stylist Sina Lauren Hol for her advice on how to ace this most important part of the job seeking process. Sina is the resident stylist at Burnside Village Shopping Centre and also conducts workshops for businesses looking for direction on corporate dress for their employees. ‘All work places have different dress codes and dress cultures and until you are familiar, it’s best to dress up rather than dress down’ says Sina. 

Together with Sina, here are our top tips to make an excellent first impression at your next job interview:

Don’t dress down for your recruiter
Looking too casual for an interview with your recruiter is a mistake. If you reserve your presentation efforts only for interviews with potential employers, you are missing opportunities. A recruiter will decide whether to recommend you for a role or not, so it is just as important to impress your recruiter and make a positive impression. Some of the biggest no-no’s we have experienced are candidates who wear thongs, jeans, sneakers and shorts to interviews.   

What to wear?
A pant or skirt suit with a well cut blazer, teamed with a crisp, white shirt is an excellent choice for a job interview. It’s not essential for men to wear a tie, but if choosing not to, ensure you wear a smart suit and shirt.

Personal style
It’s ok to inject a little personal style into your outfit, but don’t overdo it with too much jewellery or makeup. Make sure you are remembered for your great skills and personality, not jangling jewellery and too much eyeliner! You can add a nice scarf or statement necklace to style up a simple suit and shirt combo. 

Grooming
It doesn’t leave a good impression to have the personal grooming of a yeti. Make sure your hair and nails are clean and tidy and your clothes are ironed. If you wear nail polish, make sure it is not chipped and avoid garish colours.

Shoes in good condition
The shoes you choose to wear to a job interview should be in good condition and polished. Avoid wearing sky high heels or boots. A nice court shoe, brogue or low – medium heel is an appropriate choice.    

Your bag
Don’t bring a scruffy, unkempt bag to your interview. If you don’t have a handbag or satchel in good condition, borrow one! No clutches - you’re not going to dinner!

Even if the workplace you are interviewing for is quite casual, we always advise candidates to dress up and present themselves at their best. It shows that you are keen on the role and makes a positive first impression. ‘Our rule of thumb is that you can never overdress for an interview‘, says Jane Carey, Director at Edge Recruitment.

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