Dress to impress, it’s the name of the game!

 

How you present yourself during an interview can have just as much impact on your success as the achievements on your resume, and showing up dressed inappropriately is an easy way to get off on the wrong foot. Your appearance often makes the first impression and it is essential that you dress accordingly and look up to scratch.

 Often it is unclear what you are expected to wear in an interview or your first day at the office and this can cause lots of extra unnecessary stress and panic. We have broken it down so that the next time this happens you will know exactly how to prepare yourself and impress with your appearance.

 

 

Decoding dress codes

The main cause of dressing inappropriately for interviews and jobs is the confusion surrounding the specific dress codes.  Here is a basic dissection of each common dress code to make sure the outcome is simple and uncomplicated the next time you encounter this issue.

  • Business professional:

    Usually business professional means suits. Keep it formal with men wearing blazers or suit jackets, suit pants, button down shirt with a tie and dress shoes. It is the norm for women to wear a pant/skirt suit with heels. It is best to stick with darker and neutral tones for this attire.

  • Business casual: 

    This is a slightly more relaxed atmosphere so no need to suit up. Chinos, dress slacks, polo shirts, button down shirts and dress shoes are advised for men. Women can wear dresses, blouses/shirt/sweater with skirts or dress pants. Dressy shoes or boots can also be worn. The idea is to still look professional but with more comfort and personality.

  • Casual: 

    While the dress code states to be casual, it is still essential to look professional and ready for work at the office. Dressing too casual risks looking like you are not interested in your position. Men can wear long and short sleeved shirts with slacks or khaki pants. Belt and dress shoes can also be worn. Women are advised to wear a work dress, a shirt or blouse with dress pants or pencil skirt. No need for heels, as presentable boots or flat work shoes will suffice.

 

 

 

6 tips for dressing for job & interview success

There are often times companies will differ in what they consider to be appropriate attire for the workplace. Here are some general guidelines to follow to ensure your appearance is perfectly polished.

  • Do your homework.

    Researching the company you will be interviewing/working for is definitely one of the best ways you can decipher what dress code you should follow. Have a look online and discover what they are about – often their website will show some videos or images of employees which are great guides to work off.

 

  • Better to be overdressed than under-dressed.

    If ever in doubt, always lean to the side of overdressed. Especially for interviews, it is always advised to arrive well-presented and dress a level above what you would usually wear to ensure you make that great first impression.

 

  • Keep it simple.

    When it comes to dressing for an office environment, a simple approach is always best. You want the main focus to be on you and your work, not the distracting clothes or accessories you are wearing. Keep your hair and makeup basic; avoid bold colors and patterns where possible.

 

  • Attention to detail.

    Once you have concluded the form of attire you need to adhere to, it is time to focus on the little details that will guarantee you always look polished and ready to go. Ensure your clothes are always a proper fit, not too big or too small. They are expected to be wrinkle free with no rips or stains. Keep hair styles and facial hair well groomed and tidy, and make sure you put your best foot forward with clean and suitable footwear!

 

  • Scent Free Zone.

    Most places nowadays have implemented a scent free zone in their offices. This helps create a healthy air space for employees, as exposure to various scents and sprays can trigger sensitivities like asthma and allergies. As a general rule of thumb, when you are attending an interview using less perfume and cologne is advised as you do not want to over-power your interviewer.

 

  • Dress Rehearsal.

    Never let the morning of your interview, or first day at work, be the time when you try on your outfit for the first time! Trying on the day/night before will allow time to change or fix anything that doesn’t work. If something is ill-fitting or looks too casual, you will save yourself the stress the next morning by having it sorted before you wake up.

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