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First Impressions Count - Dress to Impress

On11/ 07 /18

We all know that first impressions count, especially at an interview.  Even though we say, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ that is what happens (subconsciously at least) with books and people.  In fact, research shows that 55% of first impressions are determined by your appearance and body language. With a third of hiring managers stating that they know whether they would employ someone within 90 seconds, it is vital to give yourself that extra edge above the other candidates.  We talked to Maidenhead based local image consultant, Francesca Cairns, to get her tips on how to dress well for an interview. 

5 tips on how to improve your look for your next job interview.


1. Choose a Solid Colour That Isn't Distracting!

In any interview, you want the hiring manager to focus on you, not on your bright pink shirt. Instead of busy patterns, choose solid colours that reflect your personality but aren't too loud or too dull.
An example of this would be dark blue, it is a great option because it makes you seem calm, controlled, trustworthy, and secure. Grey also works well because it conveys confidence and sophistication and won't distract the interviewer.

2. Invest in a fitted outfit.

I can't stress enough the importance of wearing an outfit that fits you correctly.  Of course, the size of your suit says nothing about your qualification for the job, but poorly fitting clothes can sometimes give the impression that you lack an eye for detail.

3. Show Sophistication With 'Smart Casual' Style.

If the company you're interviewing with requests that you dress to its 'smart casual' dress code, you can get away with ditching the formal suit for the interview.  But this leaves the question, what is ‘smart casual’?  If in doubt go to the smarter end of the casual spectrum, better to be over dressed than under.
For men: A jacket or blazer over a polo or casual shirt with smart trousers or jeans.  Not ripped jeans or overly branded tops and keep the footwear smart, no trainers or flipflops. 
For women: A skirt, a pair of more casual trousers or smart jeans, but avoid flashy fabrics such as satin, lace, or chiffon. A casual top, t-shirt or shirt, with a blazer jacket if it is cold.  Make sure you don’t wear anything too short, and keep shoes smart and not too high.  

4. Play It Safe with Ink, Piercings, and Facial Hair.

If you're unsure of the company's policy, it's better to be safe than sorry. Take out facial piercings, and cover up tattoos until you know what their policy is. When it comes to facial hair, keep it groomed, an unkept beard can look like you’ve just rolled out of bed!

5. Pay Attention to the Details.

A polished appearance immediately shows that you care, so make sure you check that the details of your outfit. Polish your shoes, someone interviewing you will notice if your shoes are muddy or scuffed.  Check your nails, if you are wearing varnish make sure it isn’t chipped or remove it all together.  Make sure your clothes have been ironed, and don't forget the lint roller if you have pets.

No matter where you're interviewing, the old saying still holds true - ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you have’. 

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