Dress to impress – Job Interviews.

Positive first impressions are vital in a job interview setting, as it forms the basis of how a potential employer perceives you. But how much of an impact does the way you present yourself in an interview really have on your chances of landing the job? Well, the truth is a lot! As much as we are taught not to judge a book by its cover, the reality is that the way you are dressed for an interview plays a big role on an employer’s decision to hire or not to hire you. You could interview just as well as the top candidate going for a position, but if you are inappropriately dressed the likelihood of your success is greatly disadvantaged.


You may be thinking “That’s not fair, employers should base their decisions around how qualified someone is for the position and not how they look.” The truth is that this judgement isn’t necessarily something employers do consciously. Our brains are wired to automatically make judgements based on our surroundings to help us understand and navigate our way through this world. Interviewers subconsciously use their first impression of candidates to form a pre-conceived idea of what they are going to be like when working in the position, and how they will interact with colleagues and clients. This perception is likely formed over years of working with similar people and is based on past experience. Interviewers in general will choose candidates which have high attention to detail and appear put together, clean and hygienic.


Appropriate dress codes vary from business to business; however, you should always dress conservatively in smart clothing to be safe. If you come to discover that the workplace is more relaxed, you may adjust accordingly after you have been hired. For the purpose of this example, we are going to assume you are interviewing for a receptionist position at a corporate office. Suitable attire for such a position would include long pants, slacks, a knee length skirt, or even black jeans (no rips) for women, and long pants such as chinos, corduroy dress pants or black/ blue denim jeans for men. Less is more! Neat hairstyles, limited jewellery and light make-up will leave a positive impression.


A hot tip, if you are unsure of how to dress for a particular company’s aesthetic, dive into their socials or company website and do some research into existing employees and the way they present themselves at work. You will then most likely look the part and visually indicate to the interviewer that you fit into the company. It is really quite simple, as long as you ensure your attire is clean, conservative, and minimal, you will only have the contents of your actual interview to worry about. It is a small effort that can go a long way, and potentially be the difference between success and failure in a job interview.


Below is a visual representation of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ in dressing for a job interview, click the button below to view.