Dress to impress

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Everyone knows that going for an interview is a nerve-wracking experience. You have butterflies in your stomach and you’re praying your employer is not at all like the nightmare employers you witness on The Apprentice interview stage where the word ‘interrogation’ seems far too pleasant a word. Sadly, these are all things you will only find out on the day, but what you can do is dress to impress so that you can walk into that interview with ease and confidence, knowing that you look the part. With the credit crunch still in full swing and unemployment at an all time low, competition for that dream job is harder than ever, but if you dress smartly and look efficient then you are sure to stand out from the crowd. Recent research from T K Maxx has found that a third of employers make a decision in the first ninety seconds of an interview, with over half the employers surveyed admitting they wouldn’t hire an employee if they didn’t approve of their outfit. Don’t let this be the reason for failing an interview. Follow the advice in this article to make sure that you are not caught out on the day.

A recent survey revealed that the top 5 interview fashion faux pas are:

Men
1. Badly Ironed Shirt – 58%
2. High Waisted Trousers – 32%
3. Top Three Buttons Undone – 29%
4. Excess Jewellery – 14%
5. Loud/Comedy tie – 9%

Women

1. Tight/ill fitting tops/shirts – 48%

2. Cleavage on Display – 22%

3. Coloured/Black Bra Under White Shirt – 18%

% 5. Mini Skirt – 8%

4. Over Accessorized –12%

First things first, confidence. You’ll be nervous enough as it is, so treat yourself to something which will give you a boost. Go and buy a well fitted outfit which you feel comfortable in. If you feel confident in your clothes that will shine through in your personality and, let’s face it, there is nothing worse than a nervous and desperate graduate pleading for a job.

Next, keep it simple. You want your assets, from your CV that is, to do the talking. Don’t wear something extravagant that will detract all the focus away from your talents and previous achievements. After all, you are there to convince them it will benefit them hiring you to be part of the team. You want to impress them with your skills, so wear something simple and sophisticated.

Make sure you know your size. If you’re still carrying a little holiday weight then don’t fret. Buy a bigger size and cut the label off. The statistics clearly show that ill fitting clothes are a no-go and will get you no brownie points with your potential boss. Make sure your chosen outfit fits you correctly and that it is not too revealing, and that goes for the men too. How you present yourself reflects how you present your work and more importantly to them, how you would represent their company.

Remember, colour-code it. Show you are respectable and presentable and match your outfit accordingly. Girls, this means appropriate underwear for your demure outfit and boys, don’t leave it until the night before to realise your only clean shirt is your favourite Hawaiian beachwear. Be organised, have everything ready, washed, ironed and you’ll be raring to go.

No matter what job you’re applying for, be sure that something as trivial as your clothing is not the demon holding you back. And make sure that the first ninety seconds of your interview is memorable… in a good way of course.

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