Dressing for Interviews – The simple do’s & don’ts

Do's and don'ts 2

Some of us have attended a thousand interviews of every shape & kind. Others rarely have to don that one suit, usually reserved for interviews & funerals.

Some of the most commonly asked questions in before an interview include:

1. “What do I wear?”

2. “Skirt or pants?”

3. “Light or heavy make-up?”

4. “Hair out or pulled back”

5. “Nose ring, no nose ring?”

Stop it – question 4 was a trap and should never be asked out loud.

Here’s what we’re thinking….

Get to know your potential employer. Are you going to a construction company located deep in the west?  Or are you scheduled to meet with the Head of Capital Finance in one of the City’s most sought after Financial Services firms. Dress to your audience – but never underdress. A 15% overdress is way better than being underdressed.

Back in the day you could never research who was potentially going to be sitting across that big scary desk from you. But thanks to the wonders of social media it’s a level playing field and we can get to know our interviewer before we’ve even met them!

Once you have received a confirmation that you have indeed been selected to attend an interview – if your consultant is any good at their job they should furnish you within an inch of your life with information about where you need to go, and who’ll be awaiting your arrival.

My advice is to get on the internet and research. Check out the company’s location, jump on their website (there’s almost always an “about us” tab), get on LinkedIn….There is always a way to find someone.

On the flip side – you as a candidate are also very accessible. Like the time I was recruiting for a highly polished Executive Assistant who needed to put in long hours and have an extreme work ethic. I thought I’d found the perfect candidate. The phone screen was amazing, we were scheduled to meet. And then – I googled her and her latest Facebook post came up about the amazing sick day she was having at the beach, and how stupid her boss was. Ba Bow – survey says you will not be put forward for my position.

So dress appropriately, wear what makes you comfortable and when I say that I don’t mean pop on your “going out trackie dacks” and head down there – I mean dress in something corporate yet comfortable because if you’re comfortable, you’ll be yourself and if you’re being yourself you won’t say stupid things and then end up crying your eyeballs out in the carpark shortly after… Don’t do your makeup like you’re vying for a spot in the next Avatar movie and always, and I repeat ALWAYS make sure you glance in the mirror before you go in. The red lippy that you’re just loving yourself in can easily go so very pear shaped. And let’s not mention that rogue bit of avocado that your mates failed to mention, from your salad sandwich at lunch.

This is all so avoidable.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that every interview for every job will be different and you can’t take a one size fits all approach but if you spend the time to do a little bit of research you could be sitting in your new corner office before you know it.