If looks could kill, don’t let it be in an interview: dressing right to meet your potential employers
When we get called for interviews, we instinctively know we have to dress up in proper “formal business attire”, but especially if you’re a first-timer, you might be wondering, what exactly does that mean, and how does it look like? Here are some general pointers you can take note of!
It’s best to avoid wearing flashy colours. To check for this, put on your outfit, then ask someone to stand at a distance and look at you. If your outfit stands out from your overall profile or is glaring to that person, you should probably change out.
It’s best to go for something without patterns, or at least patterns that are not so noticeable. Again, you can use the “distance test” from the previous point: if your prints stand out or are still obvious from afar, you might want to change into something more plain.
- For females: dresses
You don’t always have to be wearing a long-sleeved blouse and business bottoms. Dresses are acceptable too, as long as they are not too short or revealing; sleeveless dresses are also fine if you’re wearing a blazer over it.
- For males: neckties
Some say that neckties are essential in formal wear, while others say it’s best to wear one just to make your interviewers remember you – but it really depends on the role you’re applying for. If you’re looking at banking and finance jobs, then it might indeed be important to wear one, but if you’re aiming for e-commerce, you can afford to drop it.
- “Do people wear that?”
One final check is to look at your overall outfit and consider if this is what people working in that industry or role would wear to work on a daily basis. The definition of “formal” varies with specific jobs and/or industries, so don’t be too quick to apply a one-size-fits-all attire solution to all your interviews; consult someone familiar with that job if necessary!
If you’re still unsure on how formal you should go after everything, you can make it a point to always dress one level more formal – after all, you won’t go wrong with playing it safe. Of course, apart from your clothing, don’t forget to comb your hair neatly and wear clean shoes! We hope this helps, and wish you all the best for your interviews!
Written by Rose and Charis