Alyson’s Advice on Appearance

By: Alyson Scheepers – Talent Specialist at Pro Appointments

The first impression you make on a potential employer is incredibly meaningful and important. When you first meet, employers will form an assessment based on what you’re wearing and how you carry yourself. Regardless of the work environment, it’s important to dress professionally for a job interview. This will help guarantee that you make a great first impression.

What you wear to an interview creates an image or perception of the type of person you are, so choosing your attire is critical to presenting yourself as the right candidate to hire.

Tips to dress for positive impact:

  • The appropriate interview attire depends on the industry in which you’ll be interviewing, as well as the geographic location and time of year.
  • Spend time on the Internet researching the company, industry and competitors to determine suitable interview outfits.
  • Call the recruitment agency that you are going through and they should be able to give you a good idea of the company culture and dress code.
  • When in doubt, dress on the side of being slightly over dressed, rather than show up looking too casual.
  • For a professional interview, men can default to wearing a suit. All clothes should fit well and not have any stains.
  • In general, fashion for women is more complicated and varied, which makes assembling an interview outfit a bit more challenging for women than it is for men.
  • When putting your attire together, always keep in mind that you want to mimic the company colours (Blue shirt or tie, if the company colours are Blue) and power colours (if you don’t have anything that is similar to the company colours, go with your power colours, such as a white shirt and black pants with a RED tie. Studies have shown that colours that bring in an element of power and professionalism are Red , Green and Blue).
  • Ensure that your clothes are cleaned and pressed and taken out the night before.
  • Avoid wearing perfume or cologne.
  • Make-up and nail polish should be understated and flattering; shades that are neutral to your skin tone are generally advisable.
  • Make sure you have fresh breath. Brush your teeth before you leave for the interview, and don’t eat or smoke before the interview.
  • Your hair should be neat, clean, and conservatively styled.

As the saying goes, “Perception is reality.”  Think about the image you want to project during your interview and then choose an outfit that will create a positive perception and is appropriate, given the time of year and the job/company/industry.