Interview attire for women: how to make a stunning first impression
First impressions count, it’s not an opinion. When you are applying for a job, you want to give yourself the highest chances of success. The best way to stand out from the rest of the applicants is to give the best first impression possible. You do this first with your CV and cover letter. If you pass this selection stage you are then invited for an interview. For men, choosing what to wear is usually easy, a suit. However, interview attire for women is more challenging. Here are ways to make sure the interviewer remembers you long after the interview is over.
1. Choosing a business or a casual style.
The clothes you wear for an interview will depend very much on the vacancy position and the company. For a large company or professionals’ office, such as lawyers’, doctors’ or accountants’, it is best to opt for fully formal, business attire. In such cases, a suit would be your best option.
If, however, the company is a start-up or a creative company, such as a marketing and design agency, you might want to let your hair down and dress more casually. Examples of casual interview attire for women include wearing a blouse instead of a shirt and replacing suit pants for khakis. Also worth mentioning with regards to dressing business or casual is in terms of the interview day. If, for whatever reasons, the interview is held on weekends as opposed to weekdays, then you might want to dress a little more relaxed, even if the most desired dress code would be a formal one.
2. Dressing attractively, but not provocatively.
Dressing attractively for an interview is a good idea as it can help you feel more confident. It will also show the interviewer that you are able to dress in a welcoming way, ideal for any customer contact roles.
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Beware, however, of interview attire for women that are too sexy or seductive, as this might be misunderstood as being provocative. In today’s workplace, with an increased focus on sexual harassment, the human resources departments are taught to be wary of candidates who dress inappropriately. You might want to consult a few of your friends before deciding to put on a given attire.
3. Putting your best foot forward, in great shoes.
Shoes play a big role in choosing suitable interview attire for women. No matter if you are choosing a business or casual style, keep most of your toes covered. Your safest choice of shoes is closed-toe pumps.
Another option, especially useful in hot weather, are peep toes. Both types of shoes vary considerably in styles and heel sizes. Be careful not to sacrifice comfort for style. After all, you wouldn’t want to be in pain while answering challenging interview questions.
4. Being conservative, with a fashionable twist.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with dressing fashionably, be careful not to overdo it. In most workplaces, it is advisable not to stand out with your attire. When choosing interview attire for women you should follow the same rule.
If you will be working in a creative workplace, adding a subtle fashion twist to your attire, such as with a scarf, can make you stand out. If in doubt, go on the business’ social media page and see what their existing staff is wearing to work.
5. Presenting your brand through colors.
During any interview, you are selling yourself, your abilities and your expertise. Just like any business you should have a brand. Your brand will show in the way you present your CV, in the way you talk and also in your choice of attire. There is no rule book which says that interview attire for women should be based on dark colors.
You can express yourself by wearing an appropriate light colored shirt or bold colored shoes. Choose colors that can help you during the interview. While red enhances confidence; blue inspires trust and black can show leadership traits. Bright colors such as orange show a creative personality, but should only be worn for very creative workplaces.
6. Keeping your grooming in check.
Correct interview attire for women dictates that you should be properly groomed from your head to your toes. Scruffy hair, bitten nails and too much make-up are all examples of bad grooming. Put on a nude-toned lipstick and tweeze any stray brow hairs. Be aware of another common mistake, putting on too much perfume.
You want an interviewer to remember you after you leave the room, but you don’t want him or her to smell you. Remember that you want to show the interviewer that you are a responsible and careful person, so this needs to show in your overall grooming.
7. Accessorizing appropriately.
As you are preparing to leave the house for your interview you will be choosing your accessories. To succeed at appropriate interview attire for women, limit your jewellery to stud earrings, a watch and perhaps a simple chain, with or without a pendant. You will also need to choose the purse carefully.
Make sure that it matches your style and that it is not too bulky. If you need to present documents during the interview, opt for a briefcase instead of a purse. When the sun is out and you wear sunglasses, be sure to put them in before the interview. Wearing sunglasses during an interview shows disrespect and should be avoided at all costs.
8. The issue with tattoos and piercings.
As time progresses, more businesses and employers are calming their position on tattoos and facial piercings in the workplace. With that said, it is strongly recommended that you cover your tattoos before the interview. If you have piercings beyond the simple ear lobe, you should also remove these.
When interviewers evaluate interview attire for women they usually deduct points for any visible tattoos and piercings. The reason is that although employers might be fine with them, customers might not be. This rule might not apply for jobs in bars, call centers and small shops, however, it does for the majority of other businesses.
Interview attire for women is not complete without a smile. It is very important that you smile during the interview as it subconsciously calms you down and boosts your confidence. Choosing the correct outfit is only part of your interview success. Be sure to also to research information on the company so that you can keep up a fluent conversation on your role within the company.