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What Should I Wear to My Job Interview?

It’s almost time to attend the interview for your dream marketing or events job. You’ve researched the company; you’ve prepared for the likely questions and you’ve planned your journey well in advance. 

But what do you wear? The photos on the company’s website might show a casual environment, but does that mean you should turn up in jeans and a shirt? 

Don’t dismiss this as irrelevant. One survey found that 37% of interviewers had rejected candidates on the basis of the way they were dressed alone. So it’s important to get it right. 

If you are not sure about what to wear for your job interview, the points below should help ensure you look at your best. And if you’re working with a recruitment agency your Consultant will know the client and their expectations, so can help you get it spot on to make the right impression.

Business dress

Regardless of where your interview is or the culture of the organisation, you should always take time to ensure you look smart. You should wear business attire, such as a shirt and trousers or a blouse/skirt or trousers and a smart jacket. It is increasingly likely that you will be interviewed in a fairly relaxed setting but this doesn’t mean you turn up in casual dress.  You’re interviewing for a professional role, so you should look professional too!   Always  err on the side of more formal than more casual, though you may moderate the degree of formality in line with the organisation and it’s culture.

If you’re not sure, always smarten up, not down.

High quality

You don’t need to have an expensive suit but it does need to be in good condition. If your best suit has seen better days, maybe it’s time to invest in another for interviews. You’re aiming to impress the interviewer and nail the interview, so turning up with a shiny or rumpled suit is not going to help. 

Dressing to impress will also give your confidence a boost. But remember to keep it comfortable too - don’t leave it to discover that you can’t walk in your smart new shoes until you’re halfway to your interview, or that your new jacket actually feels more like a strait jacket.  

Smart and comfortable will help you make the most of the moment.

Keep it clean

Even if your interview clothes are in good condition do check they are clean and pressed well in advance. Stains and even pet hairs might put the interviewer off - especially if she has an allergy!

If necessary, send your suit to the dry cleaners and make sure your blouse or shirt is freshly laundered. And watch out for that pre-interview coffee - particularly if you’re slightly jittery with nerves!

Don’t forget your shoes. Give them a good polish the day before the interview.  

Minimalistic

The clothes and jewellery you choose to wear during your interview should be minimalistic, they shouldn’t be anything which will take attention off what you are saying.

With clothing, it’s best to stick to black or navy colours, as these tend to look a lot smarter. People have strong opinions on colours and colour coordination. 95% of respondents to one survey said orange was an inappropriate choice of colour for an interview! So you might want to keep the more outlandish colours for social events.

Piercings and tattoos

Although body adornments are commonplace now, they can rub some interviewers up the wrong way. We’d normally recommend removing piercings and covering tattoos for an interview. 

Hair

If possible, it is a good idea to get a decent haircut a few days before your interview. Avoid the more extreme hairstyles. Simple and classic is always the best way to go.  Again professional rather than casual.

Accessories

An interview is a formal process, regardless of how relaxed the atmosphere may seem to be, so don’t make the mistake of turning up with your weekly shopping or a Starbucks coffee in your hand.

Carrying a smart bag or briefcase is acceptable, as is a portfolio case if you have one. Anything else is distracting and can seem unprofessional.
Of course marketing and events attract creative people and, arguably, the rules here may be a bit more relaxed. But prospective employers will ALWAYS expect that you have made an effort in your personal presentation when coming to meet them  - if you look like you haven’t, it will give a message - and not the right one.

Check with your recruitment consultant if you have any doubts.