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What to Wear

Graduate Planet CIC

Unless you specifically know in advance that a workplace has a particular dress code, you should choose what to wear to an interview based on formality. The key things to consider when wondering what to wear for an interview are:

  1. Be prepared. The day of an interview can be a little hectic so pick out what you are going to wear the day before. Being caught in two minds over wardrobe choices on the morning of an interview can lead to unwelcome stress.

  2. Do your laundry. Noticing a stain or mark on your best interview suit at the last minute is to be avoided. Launder or dry clean your interview clothes so that they are ready to go on the big day.

  3. Smarten up. If you are not in the habit of wearing a shirt and tie in your day-to-day life, then get into the habit of pressing your shirt and knotting your necktie so that it does not look like the first time you have done it at the interview.

  4. Hair matters. Scruffy hair can make you come across as unprofessional in appearance. If you have long hair, you should tie your hair back with a simple accessory or have a trim.

  5. Dress or suit? Dresses are perfectly good choices for office wear but not if they are too glitzy or are really only suitable as evening wear. If your dresses are not ideal for an interview, then opt for a trouser suit or a simple skirt and blouse combination.

  6. Jewellery. Rings, necklaces and other accessories are okay to wear to an interview but don't overdo it. Too many items of jewellery can be distracting so select a few things only and stay modest.

  7. Footwear choices. Men should opt for black or brown shoes and avoid shoes like canvas trainers. Women should not be overly adventurous with high heels. Flip-flops and open-toed sandals are a big no.

  8. Fashion tips. Unless your interview is with a glossy magazine, few people will be bothered about up-to-date fashion so don't feel the need to buy a new trendy wardrobe. Keep it sensible and smart and you will be okay.

Interviews are formal occasions so your choice of clothing should reflect this.

Some job situations call on a specific way of dressing. For example, food preparation employees and mechanics wear protective clothing most of the time. Unless your interviewer lets you know in advance otherwise, you should work on the basis that the interview will be away from such potentially messy areas and in an office-like environment so your attire should be appropriate.

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