“The way we dress affects the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act, and the way others react to us,” said image consultant Judith Rasbond. In a job interview, the clothes that one wears is the first thing that interviewers see, and analyze, which is why it is crucial to give off a great first impression with how you dress. Everyone has their own personal style, but in interviews the main thing you should focus on showing is professionalism.
The way you dress is a factor that can set you apart from other applicants. If you arrive dressed professionally and ready to work, you’ll be a much more appealing choice than someone who showed up to the interview in jeans and a t-shirt. Professional clothing is simply another component that conveys how much this potential job means to you.
For men, a solid dark-colored suit with a long sleeve buttoned shirt, a tie, nice leather shoes and a neat hairstyle makes a great first impression. However, for women, it is slightly more difficult to pick the perfect outfit. A dark solid covered suit is also expected, but women must also consider how it fits. If one is wearing a suit with a skirt, the length of the skirt should be around knee-length. The blouse should be light-colored, and either cotton or silk. Women should also wear closed toe, dark-colored heels to make a good first impression, as long as the heels are not too high. Usually around two inches is a good heel height.
However, the battle doesn’t end with what you wear. You may have done all of your research on the company, prepared impressive answers to common interview questions and have a list of great questions to ask the interviewer once the interview is over. Even though you may say all the right things, it is also important to be aware of your body language, because after all, most of what we say is not coming out of our mouths. An interviewer can tell what you’re thinking about and when you’re nervous just by looking at you, which he or she will be doing throughout the entire interview. You might dish out the most flattering compliment about the company or boast about your unique skills, but if you are playing with your hair while you speak or looking everywhere around the room but at the interviewer, it shows a lack of confidence.
If you are one to show nervousness with lack of eye contact, or a distracting habit, try practicing in front of the mirror or friends. As a public relations professional, it is expected that one can communicate well in every way. So when your first job interview approaches, know that what you wear and how you act during the interview is just as important as what you say.