Dressing for interview

Dressing for interview is an important factor in the interview process. How we feel about ourselves and how we would like to be perceived is shown in the way we dress; so it’s important that you consider this when deciding what to wear for an interview.

Although we don’t like to admit it, our mind automatically forms opinions based solely on appearance, and an interview is no different. Employers will reject a poor or unsuitably dressed applicant without a second thought. In fact, it’s estimated that eight out of ten do. This shows that how you dress really does play a major part in being selected for a role, and shows that you should really consider what to wear before meeting with a potential employer.

Of course, your actions and attitude are of equal importance, but your image can immediately earn you respect before you’ve even said a word! Employers will also make a connection between your image and your ability; if you excel in one area (image), you’re likely to excel in others.  By dressing appropriately, you will demonstrate to a prospective employer that you are credible, engaged, and most importantly, respectful. It will also not only positively influence employers, but will make you feel more confident and allow you to shine.

The key to dressing is to ensure that your appearance is appropriate for the role that you are interviewing for. Casual dress for an interview with a professional services firm is obviously an error. It will make the interviewer question your judgment and, in turn, judge you.  On the flipside, an interview with a digital, creative or PR agency may take a different approach, but do resist the urge to go too casual.  Do take on board that a lot of agency roles involve a lot of face to face client contact so they need to be assured you can hold your own in the company of other, more senior people.

You don’t need to look like you’re stepping out of London Fashion Week, but a good rule of thumb is to keep it calm, balanced and considered. Avoid the loud and garish attire or the flash brand names.  You should always dress one or two steps up from your normal attire, even though the rules are a little more relaxed in the creative agency sector.  Make sure that the image that you convey underpins credibility, which in turn differentiates you from the competition.

Although your appearance should be apt for the setting you’re in, you should show your own personal flair; the person beneath the clothes should shine through too! If your style does lean towards the adventurous, go for design consciousness and modern, but keep it understated.  Hiring decisions can be made within the first few minutes of an interview, dressing well will signal that you have taken the time to make the right first impression. In fact, your overall presentation may leave a more distinct impression than the words you say. After all, memory is rooted most strongly in pictures and impressions.

If you’d like to chat more about how to present yourself for an interview within a creative agency or in-house marketing role, then contact us.