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Career’s Advice: How To Dress For An Interview

July 15, 2024 - July 15, 2024   

It’s crucial to make a good first impression at a job interview and your dress sense plays a big role in this. The attire is your ‘visual’ resume and speaks volumes before you even say a word. Before you step out of the door, look in the mirror and judge your outfit before the interviewers do. You never get a second chance to make that first impression. 

Interview dress codes vary depending on different industries, company policies and location. The general rule is to have a sense of corporate culture that will guide your attire as you prepare for the interview. Invest some time and money in creating a great interview wardrobe and you will invite others to easily invest back in you. Below is a breakdown of key industries and what mode of dressing will give a great impression in the interview:

The finance and administration industries are regarded as traditional corporate and nothing requires precision as managing money and people. The attire you choose to wear should project an image of responsibility, integrity and knowledge. An employee in this field ought to follow a dress code and deck out to receive the much-needed respect. Full professional attire is expected especially in investment banking where old-school suits and ties are a must-have. These clothes should be crisply ironed and colour-co-ordinated.

Sales and fashion positions look for bold and extraverted individuals. The choice of attire needs to match their personality and style know-how that will capture attention. Your typical boring suits and dresses should be kicked to the curb. T-shirts and jeans are an absolute no as they speak of mediocrity and lack of seriousness. The salesperson is ideally the face of the product or service that he or she is up-selling. For example, walk in with a Valentino Garavani handbag for a high-fashion sales interview combined with a chic outfit and see if you capture your interviewers’ attention.

The technology industry is known for its laid-back and smart casual dress code. It’s often said among tech gurus such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs that performance tops appearance. This clearly shows that if you are applying for a technical position you don’t necessarily need a suit and a tie. Carry out some research before the interview on what other company employees are wearing. A collared shirt with a pair of khakis for the men and blouse and formal skirt for ladies would be ideal for this kind of interview. Go for classic simple, nothing too over the top as you will end up looking over-dressed.

The hospitality field covers a whole range of customer-related industries from hotels, airlines and the list goes on. Most of the jobs in this field are uninformed; however, you need to dress impeccably for the interview. Of course, unlike traditional corporate fields, your personality will speak louder than your attire in the hospitality industry. Dress for success when going for the interview and make sure your hair and clothes are clean and neat. Your job will be mostly in the public eye so the interviewer is looking to see that you can look the part.

Government jobs are often panelled made up of individuals with varying opinions of what’s appropriate and what’s not. The best advice is going for a conservative dressing with minimum jewellery and makeup. Leave the colour and flash as it may be construed for lack of seriousness. The interviewers are looking for individuals with a sense of responsibility, honesty and integrity. This doesn’t mean you look shabby, a simple suit with a bit of colour will be sufficient.

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