What to wear to your first interview

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And what not to wear

So lately I’ve been writing a lot about work and interviews, and students. I want to shift this topic a little into something practical that a lot of people neglect, and discard. What you wear is extremely important as this influences people’s first impression of you, therefore you need to get it right, especially the first time.

I’m going to try to keep this simple so it applies to both men and women.

Colour schemes:

Stay away from brown undertones at all times. Rather look like Johnny English, instead of Mr Bean.

When you wear brown and brown undertones it dulls you down, and fades the opportunity to make first impression.

Focus on wearing statement colours such as blacks, navies and whites (DON’T wear a white suit!). These colours portray superiority, strength and self confidence.

The safest colours to wear is a fitted navy suit and a white collared shirt. Same for the ladies, you can wear a fitted pencil skirt that is either just above or below the knee, with a neat navy blazer and white collared shirt, and heels.

Stay away from bright colours such as neon colours, and primary colours. Unless your going for a party-clown interview.

Dress code

It’s almost always better to be overdressed than under dressed.

Men, when in doubt wear a tie. Try neutral colours, instead of your lucky Unicorn tie.

A colorful tie can distract the interviewer, and they might not take you as seriously as they should.

Ladies, you need to cover up. Never wear a skirt shorter than 4 fingers above the knee, and never ever show your cleavage. This is unacceptable attire, and you should stay away from it as far as possible.

Do research before you go for your interview. Make sure you know the kind of dress code that is worn in the industry, and dress accordingly. Some industries allow jeans and golf shirts, other, a full three piece suit. But once again, rather be overdressed than under dressed.

See image below:

                                              Acceptable work attire

Ladies

  • Try to wear just basic makeup. You don’t want to look like you have the drag-queen Snapchat filter on your face.
  • Keep your hair neat and tidy, and out of your face.
  • Make sure your nails are neat, and not a bright colour.
  • Wear high heels if possible, but only if you can walk comfortably in them.
  • Shoes: Either black, navy or nude. Stay away from glitter and red shoes
  • Only take a small purse with you. Don’t arrive at the interview with a large clumpy handbag.
                   REALLY big handbag

Men

  • Shave the morning of the interview. Clean shaved.
  • Your hair should be short and neat. If you have long hair, tie it up neatly.
  • Make sure your nails are short and clean
  • Wear the right socks! Your socks should match your pants.
  • Polish your shoes.
  • Black shoes with black pants
  • Brown shoes with navy or chino pants

Now that you’re all dressed up and ready. Be confident! Good luck and enjoy!


If you liked this article, give it a like! And feel free to give me feedback on how I can improve.

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