Is the way you look affecting whether you're hired?

Two people having interview

What you choose to wear to a job interview can seriously impact whether you’re hired or not. Turning up to an interview for a financial advisor role dressed in dungarees and flip flops, for example, is a no-no. A sharp, smart look will boost your confidence and count towards that all-important first impression.

So when you’re asked to attend an interview how can you ensure that you get it right and don’t look out of place?

Do your research

Thoroughly researching the company and its culture is a key step to understanding the dress code. Once you have identified this you can tailor your look accordingly.

Being over- or under-dressed will make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. If you feel confident and comfortable, you'll act comfortably during your interview and transfer that confidence to your interviewer.

Plan ahead

A good interview doesn’t happen by accident, it is down to the methodical planning and preparation that you put in.

So while you are planning your answers, double checking the address and tweaking your handshake, plan your look in the same amount of detail.

Having your outfit planned gives you time to make sure there are no rips or stains and leaves time for any tweaks if needed. Avoid the night-before rush and keep your head clear and composed on the day.

Look good, feel good

To understand the psychological benefits of wearing certain clothes consider the findings of a study published by the Kellogg School of Management.

They introduced the term ‘enclothed cognition’ to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer's psychological processes.

Although not directly linked to interview situations the principle of gaining a psychological benefit from your outfit could help you get the job.

If you have an ill-fitting suit or jacket, replace it. Wearing something you feel confident in will give you the best chance of sailing through your interview with confidence and ease.

Don’t go overboard

This is a rule that applies to both men and women when dressing for interviews. If there are any doubts around the dress code choosing a dark blue or black business suit is usually a safe bet.

Adding splashes of colour and personality to your black business attire is no bad thing - in fact it’s a touch many employers will notice.

However it’s important to remember that not all accessories will be suitable for interviews. Avoid anything too excessive or flamboyant as you want the interviewer to remember what you said – not your ‘humorous’ tie or neon pink shoes.

Give a good first impression

You only get one chance to make a good first impression so make sure that yours is memorable for all the right reasons.

A good rule of thumb for any interview is to dress one level up from the company dress code you identified during your research. By doing this you are subtly showing your ambition and eagerness to progress within the company.

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