The Importance of First Impressions

The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one.  First impressions are, by definition, instant. It takes seconds for a complete stranger to formulate a positive or negative opinion of you based on your appearance alone. That's why, in many cases, it’s still important to dress professionally for a job interview - regardless of the work environment.

So How Should You Dress for a Job Interview?

What do I wear to the interview? It's a question millions of people agonize over before that all important job interview – and with good reason. There’s a lot to be said about dressing for success. The right attire supports the image of someone who takes the interview process (and work) seriously. It “tells” the interviewer that you are:

-    Prepared,
-    Confident and,
-    Professional.

When you LOOK the part it enables the interviewer to VISUALIZE you in the position.

Top Tips for Dressing for Interview Success

  • When the workplace or the job is less formal, the dress code may be as well. But it’s still important to dress for the interview.
  • One basic rule of thumb for job interview attire is to dress for a position above the one for which you are interviewing. Job interview dress code standards are generally understood to be more formal than you will dress after you have the job.
  • If you're in doubt about how to dress for an interview, it is best to err on the side of conservatism. It is much better to be overdressed than underdressed. (Even if the company you’re interviewing with has an informal dress code, dressing professionally for the interview is a compliment to the interviewer).  For most business and professional jobs, suits are the best choice to stay within the job interview dress code (this applies to men and women).
  • Be aware that in some industries, customer contact and the image you present to the customer are critical. In such cases the way you dress will be judged more critically.
  • If you are unsure about the expected dress code for an interview, ask your recruiter or the HR/ Hiring Manager.
  • When choosing a color to wear consider the following. Dark blue projects an image of being calm and in control, of dependability and loyalty (note how many uniforms are blue). Gray sends the message of wisdom, dignity and practicality. Brown is associated with friendliness and wholesomeness - a connection with the earth. Black is seen as representing authority and power. 
  • Dress up for a Skype interview. Even if your interviewer doesn't mention it, he will be impressed if you look sharp for your chat. Even if he can't see your bottoms, wear nice pants or a skirt too, so you feel more formal. 
  • Dress professionally even if you're having a phone interview. This will make you take the interview more seriously.
  • Be aware of current styles and trends. Things such as lapel width or the cut of your suit may vary by season. Take note of what professionals in your industry are currently wearing.

Get the Inside Track on What to Wear... 

Fashions come and fashions go, but style remains. For both formal and informal interviews, there are a few hard and fast rules. There's no room for experimentation in your interview wardrobe. If you want to know How to Dress for Interview Success then get your FREE download here.


Do you have any comments, questions or tips on dressing for interview success? Please help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.


This is part of the Interview Success Series. This series covers how job seekers can get the job they want. This series contains inside information from experienced recruiters.


·         How to interview better,

·         Resume Assistance,

·         Interview Questions and Answers,

·         Interview Mistakes to avoid and more…

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