Dress to Impress: Why looking good in an interview is more important than ever

You’ve fought hard to get to this point, you’ve seen off countless other candidates, your CV is top notch and sets out why you’re perfect for the role so why would you ever think about going in to your interview wearing inappropriate clothing?

Dressing anything other than a step up from your normal office-wear for an interview gets you off on the wrong foot from the second your interviewer sets eyes on you. Why would they see fit to offer their precious job to someone who, in their eyes, can’t be bothered to dress properly at this important stage; what will your attitude to work be like if your attitude to interviews is so slovenly?

Dressing well doesn’t come easy for a lot of people, particularly some men, but if this is the case, get some help, either from friends or any of the countless fashion blogs on the internet; each of which will give you a helping hand in understanding what works and what doesn’t.

As a general rule you should always wear a suit for an interview, regardless of what you will wear in the normal day to day role and the suit should fit properly. This is not to suggest that you should buy a new suit for each and every interview but if it’s too big or too small you will look silly and feel uncomfortable which, again, will not help in the pressure cooker environment of an important interview.

For men, a blue, black or grey suit is ideal paired with a white (ironed) shirt and a single colour tie which complements the colour of the suit. Never wear a comedy tie, or, for that matter, comedy socks, as they will be noted by the interviewer. Shoes should always be leather or look like leather and be black with a black or grey suit or brown with a blue or grey suit.

For women, again, the suit is by far the best option, whether with trousers or a skirt. As with men the colours should be fairly sombre with no bold patterns and a simple single colour blouse to complement it; if you wear a skirt rather than trousers then, as a rule of thumb, this should be no shorter than just above the knee. Shoes should be sensible, no outrageously high heels, no matter how much you like them.

Whilst all of the above might seem frivolous and unimportant to some people, and at face value, it is, but is it really worth taking that chance with the job opportunity you are desperate for? After all, in a congested market place there will always be a number of good candidates for each vacancy so is it really worth taking the chance when the next applicant has pulled out all the stops to look their very best?