Dressing to nail that job interview

skinny ties photo credit: www.gq.com.au 

It doesn’t matter if you are working in an office or working on a farm, first impressions matter and when you are competing against multiple candidates for the one job, you must make the best first impression possible. 

Simply put, showing up to your interview in jeans and a t-shirt just won’t cut it. 

Let me give you an example. When I was in my late teens I went for a job interview at a ‘nameless’ fast food outlet. I wore a t-shirt and jeans with a knitted cardigan to the interview. In other words, I didn’t dress for the occasion. When the interviewer came to the part about my appearance on her list of questions, she looked me up and down and said, “Dress is ok.” I was a little taken back because I naively hadn’t expected to be critiqued on my appearance. Needless to say, that while I did not get the job, I walked away from that interview with something much more tangible: an important life lesson.

A few years later, I went for another interview at an advertising agency. I was determined to nail this one and so I pulled out all the stops – including the bowtie and cufflinks. When I walked through the agency’s doors I immediately noticed that everyone was casually dressed – some employees were even wearing pyjama pants. I immediately felt that I had, yet again, made another wrong call. However, my employer didn’t. He liked my attire and while it was perhaps over-the-top for the daily grind at the agency, it was perfect for the interview. I got the job.

What I learnt from these experiences is that it doesn’t matter what position, or in what industry you work in - you are expected to wear a suit for the interview. If you feel you don’t need to wear one, then chances are your employer is going to feel you don’t need the job. 

So what are the essentials you need to nail that important job interview?

·         Crisp, clean shirt long sleeve in sensible colours such as white or a light blue.

·         A suit. Either black, grey or navy. If you want to be taken seriously, then common sense should tell you not to go for that orange party suit you wore to your best mate’s buck’s night.

·         Stylish tie. Always wear a tie. This can be skinny or fat, it depends on your style, however, keep the colours and patterns conservative. No dollar bills. No Australian flags. And unless you are applying for a job at a piano factory – no piano keys neck ties.

·         Cufflinks. For shirts with French-cuffs, cufflinks are a great way to show that you have made an effort in the way you dress. They can also allow you to show some personality if you wear novelty cufflinks.

·         Leather belt. Do not wear a cotton belt, a tie as a belt or a rope belt. A simple and elegant black or brown leather belt cannot be matched.

·         Pocket square. You may not like standing out from the crowd, but in a job interview that is what you must do to get the job. A pocket square is a great way to add some flair to your attire. Choose colours similar to your tie to make the best statement.

·         Polished leather shoes with laces. You may be going for an interview in the mines, that doesn’t mean you should be wearing your Hard Yakka steel-toe boots to the interview. Ensure that your shoes are polished and have laces. No sneakers with the suit - this is not the ‘80s. And definitely no loafers.

·         Shave, brush your hair, put on some cologne. Consider the job interview as a date. Don’t skimp on the grooming.

Dressing for success will not only help you make a great impression, it can also help put you in the right frame of mind to be at your best during the interview. You want to show them that you are capable and confident and there is no better way to do this than with an elegant attire and accessories from www.tiesncuffs.com.au