Interviews are one of the most important things in adulthood. An interview is not just about getting a new job. It can always be for educational purposes when you apply for a degree or a scholarship program. It’s so important to get everything right and set for an interview that people tend to go the extra mile sometimes. But a lot of the time, what people tend to focus on when going for interviewers are their achievements, experience, and some questions to interviewers after the job interviews. While all these are essential, it is also essential you focus on dressing and looking the part.
Why is dressing well for a job interview important?
This adage that says “dress the way you will be addressed” is very applicable to interviews. You might be thinking, “oh, I’ve all the right qualifications. They shouldn’t be bothered about anything I wear. But you might be wrong. You can have the world’s best degrees and achievements but may not be taken seriously if you dress shabbily. You can even give the best presentation, but one look at your dead dressing can make the interviewer change their mind.
Just so you know, your outfit, in a way, can tell the interviewers about your personality and your seriousness for the job you applied for. The first impression is very important and interviewers shouldn’t get the wrong impression about you just because of your dressing.
Note, it’s not about being rich or poor. It’s just about dressing smart and formal enough.
Do you have an interview coming up? Do you know what to wear or not? You should read these tips on how to dress for an interview.
1). Dress Formal:
Dressing formally is very important since you’re visiting a formal setting, after all. Even if they recommend a casual outfit, make sure it’s not too casual. I once made the mistake of dressing too casual for a fashion firm interview because that was what they wanted. I wore a nice, armless Palazzo jumpsuit. In my mind, I’ve “slain”. But before I left the place, one of the interviewers called me back and told me what I wore isn’t so right. She said she knew they asked us to dress casually, but it was more about our personality, but that doesn’t mean we should wear an armless jumpsuit. She took her time to tell me about the right outfits for an interview and I felt somewhat embarrassed, and of course, didn’t get the job.
Don’t be like me, dress right. At least I got the chance to be advised so I don’t make the same mistake again. You might not get so lucky.
For a casual setting, ladies, you can wear a knee-length skirt and a shirt or blouse, with a flat shoe or heels, not sandals. For men, dark jeans and a shirt or polo is ok. But for a very formal setting, men can wear a dark suit, white shirt and tie.
A suit is not a must though, a plain neat shirt and pants can do wonders too.
Ladies can also wear a well-tailored dress of dark or neutral colour. A skirt or pants with a shirt won’t be bad too.
2). Plan Your Outfit before the Day:
Don’t decide what to wear on the day of the interview. Make sure you’ve set everything you want to wear ahead, so it will be easier for you to know what to wear. You are probably already nervous enough for the interview. Looking for an outfit to wear on the day can worsen it. And you can end up picking the wrong outfit for the interview.
Get everything ready a day before. If you don’t have anything to wear, you can purchase smething nice. It’s not a must that it should be expensive; you can still rock a thrift shirt or suit to do the magic.
Planning will make you know the outfit you need and the ones are that are good for the interview. It will give you a chance to test your clothes and to make sure you know if you can walk, sit and stand freely in it. You can even ask your family or friends for advice on what to wear that will fit your body type.
3). Know the Company’s Dress Code:
Knowing the company’s attire is also crucial. Some companies will tell you the dress code when they give the interview date, while most won’t. Since you can call to ask, you can check their website or social media pages if they have one, to have an insight on what their workers wear.
4). Avoid Revealing and Raunchy Clothes:
This can’t be overemphasized! You should not wear revealing clothing at all costs to an interview! Ladies, you shouldn’t wear skimpy outfits or clothes that will show your cleavages, and a crop top is wrong for an interview no matter how stylish and formal it is. It’s not a disco party or hang out. It is even very important for ladies not to wear revealing outfits because it can give the wrong impression about you, especially in a male interview.
For men, if you have a tattoo, make sure it is well covered, and avoid clothes that are too tight. An interview is not the time to show off your nice abs. Wear an outfit that is distraction-free. Don’t wear clothes that will have too many designs on it. It can make the interviewers focus more on your outfit than you.
5). Avoid too much jewellery and makeup
Yes, I know you want to impress at your interview, but this is not your birthday photoshoot or event. Keep your makeup simple and wear little jewelry too. Don’t wear too many bracelets and bangles, as that will be making too much noise.
You are not going to a Fela Shrine concert. You are in a formal setting! No contouring and highlighting on your face, please!! Too much makeup and jewelry can make your interviewers see you as a clown or, even worse. Look beautiful and, at the same time, look smart enough.
It applies to males too. If you wear studs, please avoid wearing them to interviews.
6). Avoid Heavy Perfumes or Cologne
Yeah, you can smell nice and all, but avoid heavy perfumes and body sprays. Some perfumes can be choking, don’t choke your recruiters. Some can even be allergic or sensitive to it. Some perfumes can cause frequent sneezing and a running nose.
7). You must not be underdressed nor overdressed
Wear clothes you are comfortable in but at the same time, it should be an outfit that gives you a professional appearance and compliments you.
Wear something appropriate for the job you are applying for. Some jobs might require you to wear a suit and tie more than anything else, and some, like an internship program, can allow more casual cloth.
An interview is not when you rock your best designer outfit. Don’t wear too flashy clothing. The goal is to look smart. Dress to impress, not to kill. Don’t overthink. Overthinking spoils things. It can make you overdress. Sweatpants and a big t-shirt are a no-no.
8). Ensure your shoe is well polished and covered
Sandals and flip flops are inappropriate for an interview. Don’t wear footwear that will reveal your toes.
Your shoes should also be polished as they will make you appear smart.
9). Your Cloth Should be Neat and Well-Ironed
Rumpled clothes can turn an awesome outfit into something less appealing and make you look like a nuisanc, causing you to appear as an unserious person that is not ready for the job.
If you don’t have electricity to get your cloth irned, dry cleaners can help out. If you can’t find any, get another outfit that doesn’t need to be ironed.
What are your thoughts on how to dress well for an interview? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
About The Writer
This is a guest blog post submitted by Mariam Obiajoko. She is a ociologist, writer, historian, and activist. She is the author of Ashabi and Campus Lovers (one of Unilorin Best Fiction Of 2019). Now a full-time writer, she has published several articles and write-ups on social issues, feminism, lifestyles, some of which have feautuered on insight.ng, a close partner of experts.ng
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