Dressing for an Interview: Three Simple Rules

The other day, my mum was commenting on a gentleman she had seen at church. Apparently, she first saw him when driving into the parking lot. He was wearing his jeans just below his derriere, and had a T-shirt and hooded jumper on in the scorching sun. He also had large chains around his neck (with a big showy rosary that did little to reduce the bad boy image) and large heavy shoes. My mum saw him, frowned, and then felt bad for Big Chain’s mother to raise a child only to turn out that way. In her head, she immediately pictured him smoking all sorts of stuff, playing ludo at the nearby garages, and then getting involved in petty theft to afford his next drink. Imagine her shock when she got into church and found him on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament, praying earnestly! She kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for him to burst into patois or something crazy like that, but he just stayed on his knees. After he was done praying, he sat in the main cathedral pews, and attended mass. From what she could see, he politely greeted his neighbors, helped an old woman with luggage to sit, and placated a child who was crying. My mum was shocked!

Oh, the moral of this story is NOT that what matters is inside. The moral is, contrary to what some people will have you believe, appearance can be everything. If that same boy had walked into a room full of panelists for an interview, he may not have stayed long enough to show off his intelligence or skill.

So then, what are the simple rules on how you should dress for an in interview?

  1. Trial Run

You should think of going for an interview as a trial run, a way for your potential employers see you within the working space. So, the goal is to dress professionally so that they can look at you and actually picture you occupying that work space. This, of course, depends on the job you are applying for.

  1. Play It Safe

Ever pick an outfit and think maybe it is too much? It probably is. Faced with two choices, choose the safer option. Slacks or jeans? Choose the slacks. Pant suit or skirt suit? Choose the skirt suit. Long sleeved shirt or short sleeved one? Choose the long sleeves. It is better to dress up, than to dress down. The appearance that you put in an effort will be a pint in your favor.

  1. Be Confident

Have you ever seen someone with a hairstyle that you would never ever imagine considering in a million years, but they look good? It is probably the way they are carrying themselves. After you have chosen a smart professional CLEAN outfit, walk like you are the best thing that happened to those employers. Of course confidence will come more naturally if you have comfortable shoes and no buttons are missing from your shirt. Mostly it comes from within, from believing in yourself.

Good luck!