Dressing for an interview is as much a part of the job seeking process as making sure your CV is up to date and your references ready. It requires attention to detail, an understanding of what’s appropriate and most of all it should say a little bit about yourself. Here, we present a simple guide to nailing interview style and making the best first impression possible.
SIMPLE, YET CHIC
While each industry has its own set of (sometimes unwritten) dress codes – smart casual, corporate, creative and so on – interviews require something smarter than the average outfit. Choosing a classic suit style, such as a single-breasted, two-buttoned jacket teamed with either a slim fitted skirt or cigarette-leg pant in a high performance fabric such as Merino wool, provides the right amount of corporate conservatism while still presenting a chic, modern look. The additional benefit of choosing a suit made in Merino wool is the guarantee of comfort. Merino’s natural breathability and elasticity will make sure you will feel as great as you look.
THE COLOUR OF SUCCESS
In a survey done by human resource managers, the safest choice to wear to a job interview has been blue – particularly navy – due to its calming and confidence-inducing qualities. While black’s elegance can never be overestimated, this colour is generally considered the suit of leadership and best worn when going for jobs in management roles.
Like in any outfit, fit is paramount to looking your best. A jacket should sit comfortably across the shoulders without pulling, and the front should be loose enough to fit the palm of your hand as you reach for the inside pocket. The pants should allow movement to sit and move, but still be streamlined to follow the natural shape of the body. While the ideal is a suit made to your measure, minor alterations can make off-the-rack versions look and feel more tailored.
Choosing to wear either pants or a skirt to an interview is one best left for the day. Temperature and season can often dictate which option is best, as can whichever you feel more comfortable in.
ACCESSORISED, BUT UNDERSTATED
Jewellery, such as a watch, bracelet or pendant and matching earrings, can be a great way to add some stylish accents to your outfit. Choose between either a leather purse or a briefcase and stick with one or the other – not both. Your footwear should also be polished and in good condition. Unless the role requires a flare for stylish flamboyance, keeping accessories and final touches to a minimum will help prevent distraction from the most important part of an interview – yourself.
Photography Courtesy of Dion Lee | Illustration Barry Allen Patenaude