If you are attending an interview, it’s essential that you can show your best qualities to the interviewer. Along with highlighting your key skills, an interview is also a way of ascertaining who you are as a person, and whether you will fit into the company. With this in mind, one of the first things that the majority of interviewers look at is the way that you are dressed. Therefore, it’s integral for you to master what you are wearing. In this blog, we’ll look at what not to wear to an interview.
What do your clothes say?
On a basic level, you might think that it’s unfair for an employer to judge you based on appearance. After all, it’s who you are that counts, right? Unfortunately, what you are wearing to an interview says a huge amount to the interviewer. It tells the interviewer:
That you made an effort. A job interview is a big deal. Turning up in tracksuit bottoms, with unwashed hair and a hoodie shows that you aren’t treating the interview that seriously, and that you aren’t bothered about how your prospective employers see you. Dressing in a suit and tie, or a smart dress, shows the employer that you have consciously made an effort.
It shows you will behave on the job. Again, you might think that this is unfair, and that the way you dress doesn’t show how you’ll behave on the job. The problem is, employers don’t think this way. It’s all about presentation and creating a good impression. If you come in sloppily dressed and looking like you don’t care, then employers will assume that you’ll take the same attitude to your work.
It shows you’re thinking professionally. Yes you might not be applying to a job in a big corporate company, but the world of work is the world of work. If you visit any boardroom, you won’t find men and women in jeans or tracksuits. People are dressed smart and professional. They are dressed for business. Regardless of whether you are working in a small company or a big financial firm, you need to act professionally; and that starts with the clothes you are wearing.
What Not To Wear To An Interview
So, now that we’ve seen why it’s important to dress professionally for your interview, let’s look at what you should avoid wearing, if you want to get the job. There are a plethora of things on this list:
Trainers. The only way that wearing trainers to an interview is acceptable, is if you are completely confident that the interview is a casual affair. Even then, your dirty Reebok shoes aren’t going to cut it. Make sure you wear a clean and ideally leather pair, with minimal branding. Try to avoid white or bright colours.
Headwear. Unless you have religious or medical grounds for wearing a hat, then there is pretty much no acceptable reason for you to wear a hat during an interview. It might be an unfair stereotype, but wearing a hat indoors connotes that you have something to hide. This is not the impression you want to give to your interviewer.
Wacky ties. Everyone has their own sense of style, and you should never actively conform, but there is a time and place. Ideally, you should aim for a minimalistic dress code when attending an interview. That is to say, keep it plain and simple. Crazy patterns or clown ties might well show your individuality, but they won’t necessarily reflect well with the interviewer. This is not one thing not to wear to an interview.
Too much cologne. It’s important to smell nice for an interview, and the way you smell goes a long way to creating a good first impression, but don’t go too overboard. If the interviewer has to wrinkle up their nose when you walk in the room, then it’s probably a no.
Offensive body art. Most employers these days won’t have a problem with tattoos, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily want to see them, especially if they are offensive. This is listed as a frequent turn off for a large majority of employers, particularly those in the customer service field. If it’s offensive, make sure you keep it covered.
Too many accessories. If you want to be taken seriously, it’s important that the interviewer is able to focus on you, and not the large gold chain hanging around your neck. Don’t wear items that could take the attention away from your qualities as a candidate. Avoid huge rings, bracelets that make a lot of noise (as you’ll probably be using your hands a lot to express yourself) or large necklaces.