It’s widely thought by people (mainly females) that the best price ugg boots online in Australia are much cheaper to buy than anywhere else in the world. You did it! You have written a remarkable resume, impressed the Corporate Recruiter, and have been invited for an in person interview with the team. Now all you have to do is impress the hiring manager with your honed skills and your winning personality, and you will land the job of your dreams. Wait, not so fast! What are you going to wear?
I know this might seem trivial to those higher-level candidates who can document several past successes and who have the ability to communicate their abilities. However, I have found what a candidate wears to the interview is just as important as what they say in an interview. First impressions count, and you don’t get a second chance to make that first impression. I cannot count how many times I have received feedback from hiring managers where they were unable to get passed the candidate’s attire. Sometimes the outfits were so outlandish that the candidate’s outfit was the only memory that the hiring managers could conjure when asked about the candidate. Because I have seen many professional candidates miss out on dream jobs because of bad wardrobe choices, I felt it was time that I created a list of guidelines that contain the do’s and don’ts of proper interview attire.
Professional attire: You might be surprised just how many candidates ask me for advice regarding interview attire and what is appropriate. Not only do entry-level candidates ask my advice, but I have had C-Suite executives pick my brain on this subject as well, especially if the work environment that they are interviewing for is casual. I advise all candidates to dress professionally, regardless of the company culture. You are, after all, not yet working in that environment. At the very least, a male candidate should wear a dress shirt and tie; if no tie, then a sports jacket with dress slacks and dress shoes. Women seem to have a little more freedom; however, I believe that the most professional female candidates that I have interviewed are in a skirt and matching jacket, or a pants suit. If in doubt, dress for the position above you, the one that you hope to be promoted to in the future. Please, no jeans of any color or style and, definitely, no Flip Flops!
Color: You might be surprised to hear what I have to say about color. Of course, no matter if you are male or female, you cannot go wrong with a dark black or blue suit with a white shirt and/or blouse. However, to stand out, especially in a group interview situation where you might be one of several candidates, I am a huge fan of dark jewel tones, such as dark purple, burgundy or dark green. I am also a big fan of a little bit of color with a dark suit; for women, a red top with a black suit represents power! And for men, a pastel shirt, especially in the summer is a nice touch.
Shoes: There is no doubt that I love shoes. When I meet someone for the first time, whether in my personal or professional life, I look at their shoes. I just can’t help myself! I know this might sound shallow, but when those shoes are unprofessional or outlandish, it creates a negative lasting impression. Needless to say, I am not alone in this line of thinking. Hiring managers are looking at your shoes as well. And if your shoes stick out like a sore thumb you are going to be remembered in a negative light. It won’t matter what you have to say, because we will only remember your shoes! I have interviewed female candidates who have worn everything from hot pink stilettos to Birkenstock sandals. This is not the time to be a “fashionista”, ladies! Neither of these is acceptable in an interview. Whether you are wearing pants or a skirt, closed-toe pumps with a modest heel in a neutral color are your best bet. And, gentlemen, this includes you, too! Recently, I interviewed a male candidate for a regional sales position. He was dressed in a dark blue suit, white shirt and striped tie. I thought he was dressed extremely professional, that is until I looked at his shoes. Unbelievably, he was wearing hiking boots with a suit! And they were not new hiking boots; he actually looked like he had just come back from hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Unfortunately he became known in the office as “the candidate with the dirty hiking boots”. Regardless of his background and skills, he was not hired. Had he worn low-heeled dress shoes in black or brown he may have been offered the job.
Hats or headdresses: Unless required for religious purposes, please don’t wear them. First, it is still considered bad manners for men to wear a hat when at the table. It doesn’t matter if it is not the dinner table; it is still probably a table that you are sitting at during an interview. If you have to remove your hat, there is the possibility that you might have “hat hair”, which can be a distraction as well. Also, hats can hide your eyes, and make it difficult for the interviewer to make eye contact. Lastly, your fashion taste might not be the same as the person interviewing you. For instance, if my Sales Manager and I were to interview a candidate who was wearing a cowboy hat, I might think it is cool, and he might think it is ridiculous! It is better not to take the chance!
Jewelry and Accessories: When it comes to accessories, here is a good rule of thumb: less is more. In other words, the less jewelry, the more your personality will shine through. Outlandish costume jewelry can create a distraction, almost a barrier between you and the interviewer. It is certainly okay to wear a necklace, just don’t wear ten neon necklaces that are as big as your head! The interviewer won’t hear what you are saying because your jewelry is so loud.
Tattoos and Piercings: This article would not be complete without addressing the appropriateness of showing tattoos and/or piercings in an interview. Although tattoos and piercings are more popular than ever as a way to individualise style, I still believe that they should not be visible in an interview situation. First, there is no way to know when interviewing what the company’s policy is on tattoos and piercings, and, if by some chance these are against company policy, you might be disqualified on that alone. Also, tattoos and piercings are subjective. Some hiring managers might think they are awesome, and some might be turned off by them. My advice is to cover your tattoos and remove your facial piercings; it would be terrible to miss out on an opportunity due to your eyebrow piercing!
It has been my experience that it really does matter what you wear to an interview. By following the above guidelines you can ensure that your wardrobe won’t hold you back. When a candidate feels good about the way they look, that candidate exudes confidence; confidence that is extremely attractive to hiring managers. Your ability to dress for success just might create enough of a difference to turn a “no thank you” email into an offer letter.
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