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What to wear to a job interview

8 March 2018

Whether you’re new to the game or are just looking for a change, there’s no denying that the prospect of a job interview is daunting – but the hard work doesn’t stop there.

You may have heard it a million times before, but first impressions really do count. Use what you’re wearing to put yourself in a position of power: what you wear has the ability to totally change a person’s perception of you. India Gladstone reveals the golden rules of dressing for an interview – good luck out there...

Dress for the job you want

If you don't make an effort with your interview outfit, how can you expect a potential employer to take you seriously? Dress for what you want, not what you have – especially if you’re used to dressing as a student. Making an effort from top to toe proves that you’re serious about what’s been put in front of you.

But don’t go overboard

There’s nothing more that’s off-putting to an interviewer than having a candidate wearing flashy, over-the-top clothing. Put down the bow tie, stop shining your cufflinks and leave the velvet jacket at home. You want to come across as real and relatable, so let your clothes say that for you.

Do your research

Make sure you’ve looked into the office ethos and, if you can, studied the type of people that work there. Some companies have a strict no suit policy, while for others, a suit is all you’re allowed to wear. If you go into the office wearing something that goes against their rulebook, you may as well wave goodbye to that potential job.

But never be too casual

Having said that, if you’ve read that the entire company turns up to work in loungewear, that doesn’t actually mean you can do the same – it just means that you know not to show up in a three-piece suit. Trainers at a job interview will forever be a no-go, no matter how on-trend they are, so make sure that you’ve invested in a formal leather or suede pair. And always remember to keep them in good condition.

Leave bold patterns alone

There’s definitely a time and a place for bright tones and patterns, but for an interview it’s always safer to stick to subtle stripes and basic neutrals in colours that aren’t going to say more about you than you’ll have to say about yourself.

If in doubt, go for old favourites

The key with every interview – beyond the obvious – is to appear that you’ve made an effort on all fronts. If you’re unsure about what to wear, choose old favourites such as a neutral shirt and slick, tapered trousers paired with sharp brogues.

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