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What to wear to a job interview

And just like that we arrived at the last week of October. The weather is definitely cooler and the clock change this weekend will formally set us on “Winter mode”. What better time to reset and make some needed changes to our lives? Get a new job maybe? The post-pandemic job opportunities surely contrast with the wave of lay-offs and redundancies from the previous lockdowns. However, if you haven’t heard of it yet, the Great Resignation trend has arrived. Job seeking is no longer about companies assessing candidates. Candidates are actively evaluating companies and carefully selecting who they commit to. Switching jobs hasn’t ever been easier, but that doesn’t mean candidates don’t care. They still care… about the things that work for the company without impacting their personal lives. Long hours and no work/life balance? Thanks, but no thanks! So, if you’re considering a change, read on. This week’s blog is about what to wear to a job interview.

The Job

First things first! What’s the job you’re applying to? Who’s the hiring company? Unless a dress code was stated in the job advert, check the company’s website to understand their culture. That will give you an indication of their expectations which can help you define the outfit for the day.

Something new?

Unless you really need a new item (if this is your first interview ever, that may be the case), stick to something you already own and feel comfortable in. We’re more capable of keeping focus if our physical needs are met. A scratchy label or fabric that may irritate your skin is all it takes for you to feel uncomfortable. So, wear something you own and know will make you feel comfortable. Above all, wear something that will reflect YOU!

Be tidy

The “keep your look cohesive, wear dark colours, match accessories, etc” advice is a thing of the past. Things have changed and although it’s still important to be mindful of our impact on others, we have more freedom to express ourselves through our clothes. One thing that is imperative is cleanliness. Personal hygiene is key, just like the care for your clothes. Whatever you choose, pick something clean, cared for (no holes, no loose threads…) and ironed.

Be you, but don’t impose

Let the hiring manager know you, but be mindful of the appropriateness of your clothes on others. No offensive slogans, tone down on any more eccentric shades and fragrances (unless the job you’re going for is all about that). You’ll want the hiring managers focussed on your skills and the interview. If there’s too much going on with your appearance, they may get distracted. So, be you at all times, but don’t impose.  

Remember that the pandemic brought several changes to the workplace. Dress codes have relaxed and employees have more opportunity to express their individuality through their fashion. We all have to wear masks on our daily lives (not just the anti-Covid ones). Not having to “impersonate” someone else will make it easier to get on with your day. So, use fashion to let potential employers get to know your unique self.

And if you’re too nervous remember to bring a notebook. You can note down parts of the interview that are relevant to help you make a decision (the good and bad) and holding a pen will ensure you keep your hands visible and busy – great to “camouflage” any anxiety. Good luck on your next opportunity!


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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