Securing a Job is All About First Impressions
How to dress for interview success
First impressions are everything. Within seconds of a first face-to-face meeting, countless assumptions are made and opinions are formed. Beards are the perfect example of this platitude – all it takes is one glance at a glorious mane during an introductory handshake to know that you’re dealing with a rugged, spirited, individual.
Nowhere is the concept of a first impression more important than at a job interview.
All of the effort painstakingly crafting a perfect cover letter and making sure every resume bullet point uses the strongest of action verbs paid off. You have passed over one hurdle in securing a job and now you are at what could likely be the last.
It is all too easy, during this critical phase, to ruin your chances at a job offer before you even open your mouth. If you walk the fine line between over and under dressed even just a fraction in the wrong direction, whatever you have to say about your biggest strengths won’t save you.
Fortunately, there are some tried and true tips to ensure that your wardrobe doesn’t keep you from landing your dream job.
By this point in the job hunt, you should have a pretty good idea about the company you’re hoping to work for. You should know whether it’s a relaxed office that allows and encourages employees to come to work in jeans and a t-shirt, or if it’s one that asks its employees to wear business attire every day. If for some reason you haven’t got a proper feel for the wardrobe standards, check out the LinkedIn profiles of employees who are at a similar level on the company ladder and ask them about it.
It’s always a great idea to dress at a level above what the day-to-day norm is. If the office is a casual, jeans and t-shirt, type of place; wear a nice pair of slacks and a button-down shirt. If business attire is the norm, you can never go wrong with a suit.
Actually I take that back, you can definitely go wrong with a suit. No, I am not talking about Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly showing up to a job interview at a sporting good store in tuxedos (although that’s probably not recommended either). I am talking about choosing to wear the suit you still have from that one presentation you had to make freshman year of college that you think fits well still but never fit well to begin with.
A properly fit suit evens the price playing field. As long as the suit you are rocking fits perfectly, it won’t matter if you got it at Gucci or Goodwill. Take the time before even putting your resume out there to find a suit that fits properly at your price level.
No one wants to work next to a slob, so make sure you’re properly groomed and smell nice on the day of the interview. Getting your hair trimmed up a few days before the big day is always a good call. Although your glorious face forest should surely make the interview itself a formality ‑ it is only going to be one if you your mane is trimmed and on point. Don’t go to the interview looking like post-island Tom Hanks in “Cast Away,” go with a properly trimmed and oiled beard that exudes confidence.
Following these tips makes that critical first impression nothing more than a checked-box on your way to crushing your professional life.