It only takes a few seconds for a person to form a certain impression about us. A job interview is one situation where first the first impression counts a lot.
It is quite stressful for most people to prepare for an interview, so choosing what to wear to the interview is just as important as preparing your cv. The way you are dressed can determine whether you get the job or not. It is important to make a positive first impression by dressing appropriately. Dressing appropriately means to dress in good taste. No skimpy tops, mini-skirts, loud patterns, flip-flops, loud ties for men, oversized suits etc.
Always do some research about the company interviewing you by calling the HR department or reception to find out what their dress code is. The Legal industry in South Africa is quite conservative so if you are not sure what to wear, dress conservatively. Fashion experts believe that it is better to overdress for an interview than to underdress.
Many books and articles by fashion experts, stylists and designers have these common tips to help you decide what to wear to an interview or even just to build a professional wardrobe for yourself: To help put together a professional look, each person needs to have the CORE FOUR – Jacket, trousers, skirt and top.
• A navy, black or grey suit
• Plain white shirt or even a light blue shirt always works
• Your suit must not look cheap ( e.g shiny suit) but also not too expensive ( you don’t want to look more powerful than your future boss)
• Conservative tie – plain, one colour
• For your navy suit, a brown belt and brown shoes
• For your black or grey suit, black shoes and black belt
• Neutral colour socks
• You have a choice – trousers or a skirt
• A great pencil skirt always works best – navy , brown or black in winter or a lighter plain colour in summer.
• Plain blouse or shirt
• Formal trousers
• Reasonable high heels
• Limited jewellery
• Little or no make up
• Jacket, or you can replace the jacket with a cardigan
• You can even add a scarf of broach.
The above examples are just a guide to help you make a good first impression. We wish you the best success in all your endeavours. Remember to send your cv to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you to potential employers who are constantly looking for talented individuals for their organisations.
Article written by Nosizwe Phajane who has a Bachelor of Consumer Science (cum laude) and manages Recruitment, Research and Development at TGLN.