Going on a job interview or attending an assessment centre is already daunting enough without having to ask yourself the question: “What do I wear?” Whether you’re a male or female, a marketing or technology applicant, read on to find out Futureboard’s advice on getting your style right.
Nathan Doig, consultant at Futureboard, is an expert when it comes to job interview style etiquette. He says: “Choosing the right clothing for an interview is the same as tailoring your CV to different applications: it depends on the company and on the industry you’re applying for.”
According to Nathan however, it’s better to be too smart rather than too casual. He says: “Everyone has got their own style, but you’re not being judged on how fashionable you are.”
Nathan adds: “Be a bit more conservative: you’re likely to be judged by more senior people, who will be stricter on the way you look and less lenient on things like messy hair.”
However, for Nathan common sense always applies. You should show you’re capable of fitting in your own environment: according to him creative companies, the media industry, the marketing or advertising sectors are not typically as strict on suit and booted candidates as the banking industry. He says: “Maybe being too smart in those situations would make you stand out in a bad way!”
For Nathan however, for a job interview or an assessment centre men should always suit up. He says: “You should definitely wear a suit, a shirt and a tie – and they must be well-ironed, otherwise there’s no point in putting them on. Your shoes should be well-polished, your hair tidy and your face clean-shaven: it’s all about giving a good first impression.”
Women can be a bit more creative while dressing up for an interview, but they should be wary on not revealing too much. Nathan says: “Shirts are not a definite must for girls, but just make sure you’re not wearing anything too revealing. Skirts and trousers are both fine, as long as they’re not too short or too tight.”
Nathan adds: “Be careful on the size of your heels: not everybody minds if they’re too high, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Same goes with skirts: below the knee is always better.”
Nathan says: “This is not my personal opinion, nor do I think it’s always right to think this way, but this is what I would advise for everyone trying to succeed in an interview.”
He adds: “If you’re not prepared to compromise your style for a job, maybe you should re-evaluate the company you’re applying for and consider whether you actually want to work there. But do keep in mind that once you get your foot through the door, rules become much less strict on the way you look.”
Have you decided what to wear on a job interview? Tune in tomorrow to read about Futureboard’s take on tattoos and piercings.