Look the part with the right job interview attire

How important is job interview attire? Remember the mantra: perception is reality. Your dress creates the first impression, and that impression goes a long way.

The interviewer will make assumptions about you based on what they see. These assumptions are very hard to change, so you need to get them right from the start.

Can it really be that important?

Yes, and it’s been proven so many times it even has a name: the halo effect. The interviewer makes a judgement of you in the first 30 seconds. Studies show that if your first impression is good the interviewer will react more positively to you and see your whole performance as better. A real life version of rose tinted glasses.

Imagine two equally qualified candidates interviewing for the same role. One arrives smartly turned out, the other looking scruffy and dishevelled. Even with the modern trend towards a more casual dress code, which of the two do you think appears most impressive?

Which of the two do you think appears most professional?

Which of the two do you think is more likely to get the job?

The way you are dressed sends out a powerful message. You need to make sure it's saying the right things.

So what do you need to do?

The good news is it’s simple. A well turned out candidate is seen as being more dynamic, professional and able to pay attention to detail.

Many companies adopt a more casual style of dress. This may even be the type of environment you are looking for. Still, it's wise to be conservative when it comes to interview dress. It shows the right attitude to the employer and the interview process. And you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

What to wear for men

• The suit is the starting point. Tradition dictates a formal colour such as black, navy or grey

• Clean and polished black shoes

• A long sleeved plain white shirt

• A classic tie (plain, no novelty ties)

• Restrict jewellery to your watch and wedding ring

What to wear for women

• A two piece formal suit, either a skirt or trouser suit

• A long sleeved white blouse

• Black shoes , avoid too high a heel

• Neutral coloured tights or stockings

• Matching handbag

• Keep jewellery to a minimum

Find out how to effectively present yourself during the interview

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