Dressing right for an important job interview or crucial meeting can be a tricky business. You want to strike the right chord, look smart and like you mean business plus show that you're professional and ready to take on the task at hand.
In today's day and age with so many different office environments, flexible working and in some circumstances a much more relaxed approach to the traditional working arena it can sometimes be confusing to know what to pick out of your wardrobe to make sure you hit the right note. First impressions count so bearing this in mind, here are some tips to help make sure you make the right choice for those key occasions.
1. Do your research. Find out about the company culture and work from there. Don't be afraid to ask your recruiter or whoever has put you forward for the job what the culture is and what they would advise you to wear. As a rule it's always best to be equal to or smarter than the person interviewing you. If you're going for an outside meeting at another company don't hesitate at asking your contact what would be most suitable and go from there.
2. Don't under do it. When attending an interview, even if the company culture is very casual, don't be tempted to go along in your jeans and trainers. Like I say first impressions count and you still need to look as if you've made the effort and that you care. Ok so maybe the environment doesn't call for a full on suit and tie combination but you should still select something neat and presentable that shows you can look the part.
3. Don't over do it. Equally you need to make sure that you're comfortable and able to concentrate on the interview and not the tight fitting suit and shirt that you've forced yourself into. There is an element of making sure that you are 'you' and that your clothes represent the best of you. You want your outfit to help you feel at ease and able to focus on the conversation you are having or the presentation you are giving. Do keep it simple - bold, block colours usually work best and avoid the crazy and over the top patterns. Don't go mad on the accessories or anything that will distract and look too over the top.
4. Make sure you're well presented. Whether going for the full formal business attire or something a little more relaxed it is still incredibly important that your clothes are clean, well ironed and comfortably fitted. No wrinkles, no spilt coffee, and no button bursting shirts, trouser or overly short skirts. I wouldn't really advocate wearing jeans to an interview no matter how relaxed the environment but if you really think it's appropriate then make sure they are smart, no rips, tears and not hanging down around your midriff! No trainers - never trainers as far as I'm concerned. Smart, well polished shoes at all times.
5. Grooming matters. Personal grooming is important. Don't over do the makeup keep it neutral, no bright and overly bold nail polish. Men - keep that facial hair in check! Perhaps slip a pack of mints into your bag incase you had too much garlic for lunch and need a little freshen of the breath! Another really important thing to remember is not to over do the perfume or aftershave. An overtly strong odour of someone else's chosen scent can be incredibly off putting.
I know it's tricky and difficult at times to find the right balance especially if you have a very individual style that you hate to lose. Yet when it comes to getting that job it's worth making these few tweaks to ensure you're as smart as you can be. After all it's just for those 30-45 minutes during that crucial meeting. Keep a little bit of you but smarten it up - if in doubt the smarter the better. You need to show you care and that you can be presentable to colleagues, clients and anyone else in the business that you may come into contact with.
For some super smart, suited and well booted style I love browsing the Suits And The City page on Tumblr. Taken on the streets on NYC by a professional photographer, these daily street style shots showcase the best dressed and most well heeled of New Yorks city slickers. It never fails to impress and inspire when it comes to up to the minute super, workwear style and trends.
What are your top tips for dressing for the job and have you any advice or stories of your own to offer? Let me know in the comments - it's always lovely to gather more ideas and inspiration.
Farewell for now all and as always have a very happy hump day!
Hope to chat later!