If you have ever had a career counselor, a mentor, or a resume writer who cares, then you have heard this before: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” In any interview situation, there are factors being processed by the interviewer when it comes to your candidacy. There is of course the obvious, for instance your qualifications, as well as the of experiences and skills on your resume. But there are also some of the less conspicuous things an interviewer is either consciously looking for or unconsciously affect them. No matter what, you always want to ensure that the final message an interviewer gets is that you are in fact a good match for the available position. How you present when you walk in the door can tell the interviewer a great deal before a word is even spoken. When preparing for your next job interview, be sure to consider the helpful tips below in crafting your interview outfit.
Consider the audience, job and interview location
This one is pretty high level, but it makes sense that it is the first thing you think about. The type of position, working environment and the individual conducting the interview should play a role in your selection of what to pull out of the closet. Let us suppose, for example, you are in college, looking for a job to pay some small bills, and interviewing for a position as a stock clerk at your local hardware store. This would be a case where your new $750 suit may be overkill. In fact, the outfit may even put your reader off a bit. You don’t want to give off a white collar vibe when interviewing in a blue collar setting with a blue collar professional. In a situation such as this, perhaps a nice pair of khakis and a button down shirt will do the trick. It is professional, yet not over the top. It respects the process without disrespecting the position and the person. Likewise, if you are looking to be the sales manager of a high end clothing retailer, the khakis and button down shirt won’t get the job done for you. Nor will the suit that is clearly out-of-date or in need of ironing. In a case such as this, your outfit may very well be the interview.
Does your outfit, well, fit?
Perhaps you have taken the time to consider the environment, industry and interviewer. You have selected the correct style and outfit. But if that outfit is ill fitting and hangs off you incorrectly, this will not help your cause. When one’s clothes fit badly in such a situation, it can become a distraction to your interviewer. If your suit jacket is quite obviously too baggy and too long for you, they are wasting mental energy processing this awkward appearance, as opposed to focusing on your skill set. When it comes to your shirt, you don’t want something that’s not going to fold and bunch up visibly. Be sure the clothing fits well and properly hangs off of your body well. Again, this isn’t necessarily to impress the interviewer, as much as it is to prevent from distracting them from the reason you are there.
It’s the shoes!
This obviously is not for the females. For any female will tell you, when a gentleman approaches, no matter how great his outfit is, or how well it hangs off of him, if the shoes are not on point, he has just swung and missed. The shoes are your communication that you have attention to detail. You don’t only want to make sure they are appropriate for the interview and the outfit, you want to ensure that they are nicely polished and free of random scuff marks. For most of your interviewers, this will communicate to them that you think of the little things. The ladies know what I’m talking about here, right?
Brighter accessories for dreary days
It is the day of the interview and storm clouds are out. The Sun cannot seem to peek through and it just seems to be one of those days. Interviewers are human beings, too. Their mood can be affected by the weather, and you don’t want someone in a bad mood interviewing you. Now, before you get there, there is not much you can do to affect your mood. So why not go for the micro improvements that can make a difference? It comes to accessories, consider going brighter and louder. Yes, you still want a dark suit as the base, but why not brighter colored accessories to go with it? The addition of color into the environment can be just the thing to perk up the interviewer and establish more positive attitude on such an ugly day.