Updated: Feb 22, 2022
“DRESS FOR SUCCESS” is the modern equivalent of "clothes make the man”- that’s it, it articulates the belief that what you wear matters in everyday life.
Today “impression management” has become part of mainstream popular psychology and management and business studies, with the dress for success in the centre of both.
When going to an interview, making a good impression is very important. Not only by how you present yourself, but how you look and play the part. Needless to say, clothing plays a big role in the interview process. The way you dress for an interview gives potential employers their first impression of how you present yourself professionally.
Even if you look great on paper, if you don’t dress appropriately for an interview, you give the impression that you lack respect for yourself and those you are meeting with.
Dressing formally shows that you are serious about the job, respectful of the interviewer's time and are genuinely interested in this position. It also demonstrates an understanding of the corporate culture and showcases you as someone who would fit easily into the workplace dynamic.
How does your clothing matter during an interview?
1. Indicates professionalism:
Dressing appropriately for work isn’t simply a matter of looking professional, it’s also an indication that you recognize that norms and standards exist because they are expectations that need to be followed. It shows your respect towards the clients and that you are willing to follow the directives in the workplace.
2. Boosts self-confidence:
Dressing professionally can give you a boost of confidence, putting you in a work frame of mind. It’s even recommended that you dress in work attire for telephone interviews, simply because it puts you in a different mindset than if you are interviewing in your bathrobe or a pair of shorts. When you look at your best, it has the potential to bring out your best performance.
3. Avoids distractions:
An outfit that isn’t clean, well-fitting and conservative can distract the interviewer and cause her to only hear a portion of answers to her questions and also add on a bad reputation. We need to know how dressing affects your interview or presentation. The best interview outfit for men by default is a suit and women have different choices of corporate suits.
4. Consider the colour:
The best colours to wear to an interview are the ones that are neutral, such as black, navy, grey and brown. White is also an appropriate neutral colour for a shirt or blouse. Depending on your preference, you can also add a bit of colour to a neutral interview outfit to introduce your own personality.
Mostly the outfit to wear for an interview depends on the type of company you're interviewing with. For men, a suit jacket with a shirt and tie or a sweater and button-down with a belt and shoes. For women, a blouse and dress pants or a statement dress is appropriate. We should just avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that will distract the hiring manager.
Remember you want your interviewer to be concentrating on what you’re saying, so go easy on add-ons. You could use makeup to emphasize your eyes and mouth, but should steer clear of anything too outrageous and also try to cover any offensive or obscene body art if you have one. Impress your interviewers with your appearance and attire.
While interviewing, think of yourself as a book – you will be judged by your cover. Overall grooming and attire should be clean, tidy and neat without being overdone. Just because you have secured in your interview, doesn’t mean that you’ve secured the job. If you're curious about the job then you have to be serious about your appearance during the interview and presentation.
Remember, image is everything, and perception is reality. Make sure your image conveys an accurate perception of you.
What attire choices have you previously made for an interview? Let us know in the comments below!