THOUGHT PIECE the carling team
10 Awesome Job Interview Dress Code Tips
Gone are the days where men were necessarily expected to turn up to an interview in a suit and tie and women in a skirt, but when it comes to selecting the right clothing for an interview, you need to stop and think carefully. While quite rightly, no employer has the right to “officially” reject you for a job because of how you look, there’s no getting away from the fact that looks do matter and do make an impression. And getting the look right to bag your dream job in the drinks industry isn’t always as simple as you might imagine, so here are some thoughts from the team at The Carling Partnership that should help:
- If you want to succeed, accept that you might need to invest. If you’re out to bag yourself a top-drawer job, you really do need to look the part. If you already have clothes that are well cut, appropriate and in tip-top condition, that’s fine for your interview, but if your wardrobe is looking just a tad tired or ‘yesterday’ then you need to face up to the fact that you might need to invest.
- Horses for courses. The trick at interview, for men and women is looking like you ‘fit in’ before you’ve even got the job. The best way to do this is to familiarise yourself with the people who work in the organisation at a similar level to the job you’re being interviewed for. If you can do this by getting information from the inside, that’s ideal, but if not, even standing outside an office or workplace, you can get a good idea of what different levels of employee wear to work. Once you have managed to get a notion of what the employees wear, you could aim to adopt a similar style, but up the style or seriousness a notch or two. If the job you are interviewing for is in a ‘traditional’ company, go for classics; if it’s a dynamic and forward thinking company, go more ‘contemporary’ in your style. However, never forget that erring on the side of a more formal look will never count against you; whereas casual ‘dress down’ attire may.
- Companies with a dress-down policy. If the company who’s interviewing you adopts a publicly stated dress-down or casual dress policy, your task will be harder. In many cases, over-dressing in such settings can go against you, but equally you don’t want to turn up looking as if you’re about to head down to the pub for a drink with friends. If you are in any doubt on this, it’s worth asking your agency consultant to seek advice on your behalf so you don’t make a major faux pas.
- Accessorise with care. Accessories can make a simple outfit look stunning or ridiculous. If you decide to update a classic outfit by adding accessories, make sure they are of good quality and don’t make you look like you might be heading out to a nightclub. If you take a bag or briefcase to your interview, make sure it is in good condition and looks the part as well as being tidy. Have a quality pen to hand in case you are asked to write or sign anything.
- Take care of your hair. On men and women, a good haircut that looks neat and well kept makes a big difference to your appearance and your confidence. or For men, make sure you are either clean-shaven or if you have facial hair, make sure it is well trimmed.
- Go easy on make-up and perfume. While a bit of make up will enhance your look and it’s nice to smell sweet, too much of either make up or perfume can be a real put-off. For women, make up and perfume should be subtle rather than over-powering. Likewise for men, go easy on the aftershave because in an interview room an over-powering perfume can be as off-putting as a bad smell.
- Focus on the detail. Make sure your shoes are clean; your shirt is freshly laundered; your suit or outfit is well presented and, or newly dry-cleaned and everything you’re wearing is dust and damage free. Your interviewers will hopefully spend a long time looking at you so will quickly spot a tear here or a hole there…so simply don’t let it happen.
- Get your shoes right. Shoes can make a huge statement about you and getting your shoes right for interview will not only help you look the part, but will also mean you walk more confidently into the room. For ladies, make sure you are comfortable in the height of heels you are wearing – an unfamiliar heel height could have teetering. Both men and women should make sure that if you choose brand new shoes for your interview that the soles aren’t so slippery that you wind up on the floor.
- Aim to be memorable rather than looking noticeable. The most important thing to remember at interview is that your performance should count more than your look. Yes, you should aim to look the part, but you should be memorable for what you have to say rather than your look. If your look is right, it will simply blend in to your overall marketing ‘package’.
- Make sure you’re comfortable. Being comfortable at interview is essential, so it’s not the time to squeeze into clothes that you hope one day will fit you perfectly, or don’t feel or look right when you sit down. Make sure that the outfit you choose doesn’t gape or reveal too much when you’re sitting and make sure you have room to breathe!
If you take all these things into account when planning your interview outfit, you shouldn’t go too far wrong, but if you’re really struggling, don’t forget your agency contact is there to help you make the right choices.