The answer you WON’T get from AI!
If you ask ChatGPT ‘What should I wear to an interview?’ You’ll get a perfectly adequate response.
“Look professional and confident, opt for a conservative colour pantsuit and don’t forget to take your rollers out before you leave the house!’ Okay, I made the last bit up but it’s the sort of advice your Grandma might give you and it misses one crucial element…
More specifically how you bring your unique personality to the interview and stand out from the crowd.
Why you need to bring your personality to an interview.
Humans employ humans.(For the time being anyway!) And with the news that businesses are no longer hiring over Zoom, you need to make a good first impression as soon as you walk in the room.
It takes just seven seconds for people to make up their minds about you. If you blend into the background in a drab outfit, you are putting yourself on the back foot before you have even answered one question.
How to stand out from the crowd at an in person interview?
I’m not suggesting that you arrive in your favourite band t-shirt. You just need to pay attention to the detail and wear one or two pieces that show your personality.
Here are three easy ways to do it:-
Wearing one of your favourite necklaces, earrings or a beautiful printed scarf will not only give your outfit a lift, it will boost your confidence too. Keep accessories subtle if you are going for a job with a conservative dress code and go bold for creative industries. Keeping the rest of your outfit low key will ensure you look professional and appropriate for an interview.
Choose just one key accessory and avoid anything that jingles, like lots of bangles. Good examples include a statement necklace with a dress, a neatly tied scarf under a blazer, earrings in a colour that suits you or a vibrant colour handbag. You’ll be surprised at the difference it will make.
Clashing purple and pink for a job role in financial services is clearly not the done thing. You should, however, avoid an overload of black and dark tones. If you are nervous about the interview you may want to subconsciously hide in dark and/or baggy clothes to make yourself invisible. I see this all the time. Use colour to your advantage to have the opposite effect and make yourself visible and memorable.
I realise that bright shades aren’t appropriate for many company dress codes. If this is the case for you then mix neutrals in interesting ways such as combining camel with navy and grey or wearing burgundy rather than black with ivory. A flattering shade top or blouse will make your face light up. You can then team this with neutrals e.g. black and navy to ensure the outfit is appropriate.
Choose modern over trendy
Don’t dig out your old, out-of-date suit from the back of the wardrobe that you last wore ten years ago. Tempting as it is, especially if you are returning to work after a break, wearing an outfit which is tired and past its best will have the same effect on you.
You don’t need to be trendy, in fact, it’s best to keep it classic unless you’re sure it’s right for the company. On the other hand, if you look like you have stepped out of the last decade it could communicate that your skills are there too.
Tailored styles such as a timeless blazer or trousers are a safe bet as these always look pulled together and professional. Just don’t forget to add an interesting accessory or colour to add the finishing touch.
And here is a summary of the tips that AI does give you:
- Research the Company Culture and dress code by looking at their websites and social media accounts. If in doubt, ask the HR department.
- Avoid low cut or revealing tops. I’d also add anything that gives you the fidgets. Don’t wear anything you need to adjust and that includes underwear!
- Pay attention to grooming. Hair and nails should be clean and tidy and check your teeth if you’re wearing a bold lipstick! Ensure clothes are crease free and shoes or boots are well maintained i.e. polished and heeled.
- Check the weather and never take a chance that it won’t rain, especially in the UK. Arriving for an interview sopping wet is not a good look.
- Prepare your outfit as soon as your interview is confirmed. Once that’s out of the way you can focus on showcasing your skills and qualifications.
- It’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed for an interview. Dressing professionally shows respect for the opportunity and the company. It’s also a way to demonstrate that you take the interview seriously.
One final piece of advice, remember that the message you give when showing a touch of personality is that you are confident and want to be noticed. It’s a way of communicating on a subconscious level to your interviewer. Taking the time to do this will ensure you use it to your advantage so don’t leave it to chance.
Need help to do this?
If you need some help to create an interview outfit that gives you confidence then drop me a line. I have a range of styling packages designed to give you a whole wardrobe full of outfits you love for interviews, days in the office, dinner with friends and everything in between.
You can also arrange a free twenty minute style consultation to discuss how I can help you.
Get in touch today to book yours.
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