Job interviews are stressful. It’s your first face to face with your potential employer. It’s scary to be in the hot seat getting grilled about your work experience, ethics, and interests. You have to be on your toes and think quickly. Most job interviewees will spend hours researching companies, competitors, products, and people before they nervously head to the actual in-person interview.
Before you even get the interview call or email, you’ve gone through a huge part of the job search process. Now you’ve got a shot at actually landing a job and there’s a lot to think about – including what you’re going to wear to the interview.
First impressions mean a lot. Appearances play a major role in that process and you want to look professional. It’s necessary to wear an outfit that expresses who you are and the job you’re hoping to get. It’s easy to decide what NOT to wear to a job interview, but it’s tricky to figure out the perfect outfit. There are more than enough websites that will tell you exactly what you need to wear to your job interview. Go ahead and Google it. There’s some great advice out there.
We found an awesome article from Veronica Park that talks about What To Wear To A Job Interview (and WHY). She also has some other great posts worth checking out!
The post agrees that looking professional is the key to the interview outfit mystery, but Veronica goes on to explore 3 items that will actually help you land the job. Here they are:
- The Conversation Piece – This is your own personal flair. It’s an item like a scarf, tie pin, necklace, or watch. Think about it as apparel that can jumpstart a conversation. It’s something that tells a story. Ideally the recruiter will comment or compliment your conversation piece and that will lead to a personal conversation that goes beyond the doldrums of a job interview.
- Status Pieces: The Illusion of Affluence – Veronica explains that employers are “more likely to offer a job to candidates who demonstrate that they want the job, but don’t necessarily need the job.” Take a minute to register that because it seems a bit batty. One way to achieve this is to have a status piece such as a ring or watch. Maybe a Rolex? Be sure you are able to chat about the status piece that you wear.
- The Unique Human Touch – Recruiters are a picky bunch. You would be too after interviewing hundreds of look-a-likes for the same job. They are often looking for any reason (dirty hair, stubble, grimy fingernails) or imperfection to trash your resume. If you give them an obvious flaw right away, they’ll stop looking and focus on you. Some examples Veronica uses are to try to wear glasses which makes you appear smarter and more reliable or to grow a beard to make you look more mature and trustworthy. There are many options that will make you appear imperfect.
Definitely read Veronica Park’s post. It dives into more details and even gives example conversations on how to use the pieces to your best advantage. The goal of all of these outfit additions is to get the recruiter to remember you. You don’t want to be one more boring guy in a suit. You want to tell a story beyond your resume that helps to bring you to life in the recruiter’s mind. It’s amazing how a simple addition to your outfit can boost your chances of getting hired.
Remember these outfit tips when you’re heading to your next job interview. It could help you land the job.