Follow our Interview 101 compiled by our expert consultants who share their top tips and best practice.
In this weeks’ Interview 101 we’ll be covering the basics for how your appearance in an interview can lead to success. A natural human response, initial appearances create lasting impressions, so whether it’s the shine on your shoes, or the courtesy of a handshake, our guide will help ensure you leave a lasting impression for all the right reasons.
Taking care of your own appearance is the first step in ensuring you look like you mean business. As part of your pre-interview research, you’ll have found out a bit more about the company culture, dress code, location, and general corporate identity. All this will give you pointers on what they’ll be expecting, and accepting, when it comes to your appearance. Here are some general rules to live by…
- Keep it Clean – While there is more acceptance of tattoo’s piercings and facial hair in the modern workplace, we recommend ensuring any facial hair is well kept, hair is clean, fingernails are tidy, are all basics that you need to pay attention to. Think about the effort you’d put in to how these would look when you’re preparing for a first date and you’ll be on the right track
Smelling of Roses – While this doesn’t have to be interpreted literally, it is something to bear in mind. While that last minute nicotine fix may calm nerves, it will also linger on your clothes. The proverbial ‘liquid lunch’ or anything else that may leave a lingering aroma could leave an impression that’s less than ideal. Again, think of it as a first date, you want to wow your future employer with your appearance, not leave them looking for a quick exit.
Dress to Impress – Honestly it’s better to be overdressed than be too casual, so if you’re in doubt keep it smart. While a lot of workplaces have moved to a more casual dress code, no-one will mind if you turn up looking the smartest in the room!
Ensure your tie is well knotted (and straight!), shoes are polished, and you’re clothes are wrinkle free– while you may look amazing in your favourite dress, or shirt, is it going to convey the same corporate image that your prospective employer is? The more you look like you fit in, the more they can already picture YOU in THEIR vacancy.
Manners Count (Everywhere!) – The age of chivalry is not yet dead, and equal opportunities does not mean the same thing as a lack of manners. Whether you’re male or female, polite introductions, a firm handshake, eye contact, and an attentive nature will all help your interviewer feel you’re taking things seriously, and show you in your best light.
The little things – once you’ve put everything together, ensure you don’t give mixed messages by forgetting the little details; sit up, and occasionally lean in to show how much you’re paying attention, and despite the nerves, try and smile and engage with your interviewers. Eye contact and looking at them, rather than the floor all send the right message, and we cover interview body language in more depth in our interview Body Language guide
To Conclude - Dressing to impress really is the adage to live by here, and making sure you pick out your interview outfit in advance, have it ironed, shoes ready and polished, will all help you prepare and feel confident. It starts to get you in that interview mindset, ensures there’s no last minute panic to get ready, and takes one cause of stress off the table right away.
If you feel you can add any of your personal tips, or even some of your horror stories so we can all learn from your mistakes, comment below, or on our Facebook page, and as always, we love to see pictures of you in your interview attire.