An interview is often one of the most daunting, but most crucial parts of the job search process. Whether hosted face-to-face or over a video conferencing platform, interviews give companies an opportunity to learn more about you than they can glean from your resume and cover letter alone.
While there are numerous factors that go into determining whether an interview is successful or not, the image you present will make a huge difference to your chances of receiving a job offer. Dressing for success and demonstrating your professional nature during this crucial conversation can help you to stand out from countless other candidates. Here are our top tips for creating the ultimate interview outfit.
Invest in a Quality Power Outfit
As a cash-strapped student, the chances are you won’t have a huge amount of money to spend on a tailored suit or amazing outfit for each interview. You may even be tempted to cut costs and opt for whatever you can throw together from your current wardrobe. However, investing in a single power outfit that you can use for a range of interviews can be extremely beneficial.
One high-quality outfit that fits well and looks fantastic will not only improve your chances of impressing hiring managers, but it can also boost your confidence too. If you don’t have much extra cash available, you might consider tapping into other resources such as a student credit card for extra funding. Just make sure you choose the right card for your specific needs.
Adapt for Each Interview
There are certain items in your interview wardrobe that should work consistently regardless of where you pursue an employment opportunity. A great set of shoes, a blazer or attractive shirt, and even a fantastic pair of pants or a professional skirt can all be highly versatile garments. However, it is worth researching the company you’re applying for before you start putting together an outfit.
Some companies will post information about their dress code online, which can offer you an insight into whether you’re expected to take a more casual, or formal approach with your outfit. Learning more about the company culture can also provide you with insights into anything you should avoid, like heavy makeup or flashy accessories.
Show Professionalism in Every Interview
While some companies do prioritize diversity in the workplace and take a less formal approach with their interview dress code requirements, it’s worth remembering this isn’t an invitation for you to show up in lounge wear. No matter the culture of the company, your hiring manager will be looking at how you present yourself for insights into the kind of person they’re going to be hiring.
This means you should always make sure your clothes are clean and well fitting, and that your appearance is well groomed and attractive. Even if you’re attending a video interview, make sure you dress as though you’re going to be meeting your hiring manager in person.
Make Sure Your Comfortable
Finally, while a professional appearance is key to success in any interview, it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable in your chosen outfit too. If you’re in pain because of new shoes, or you’re struggling to sit comfortably in a complex outfit, this can lead to you sending the wrong signals to your potential hiring manager when it comes to body language.
Fidgeting, shifting in your seat or even wincing can all make you look less confident and prepared. Make sure you try your outfit on in advance, and opt for something comfortable, so you can focus on answering hiring managers questions clearly.