How Does the Outfit You Wear Affect an Interview?
A common concern of people when going to an interview is what they should wear. Should you be casual to convey a relaxed personality? Or should you be at the top of your formal game. Well, every situation is not the exact same as you will see below. But still there are some common things that will be considered. After discussions with a number of employers and interviewers, we’ll try here to crack the code for you in a simple way!
We’d like to think in a perfect world that what you wear would not affect hiring decisions. But this is likely a factor that many interviewers will consider – even if it is sub-consciously. A main reason is that the way you dress is a way that you present yourself, and also indicates your attention to detail. Furthermore, they want to know that if you need to meet an important client or be thrown into a situation that requires it, you’ll have the ability to dress as needed to make the best impression.
Don’t believe this? Well there is science and psychology behind it, even if people do not intentionally want to judge this way.
8 Key Interview Outfit Tips to Always Remember
1) Always dress a bit higher than you think you need to. You can never go wrong with a suit jacket and nice pants – just switch the type of shirt (or add a tie or not) depending on the situation.
2) A suit that evades stains, wrinkles, and odors is a great choice for obvious reasons. You never know what surprise could come up before the interview, and the peace of mind is worth so much. The xSuit 3.0 combines all these features and more into a very impressive, machine washable suit option.
3) Make sure to have a pair of nice and clean un-scuffed shoes to wear. This is frequently overlooked but is important, as dirty shoes can convey slippiness.
4) Consider to wear a watch, a nice detail that shows you’re into knowin what punctuality means. Just don’t be checking it during the interview!
5) Depending the industry, having a nice briefcase or portfolio can be a good touch. And whipping out a notebook and nice pen (not a Bic ballpoint) and actually taking notes goes a long way to show you’re a diligent person.
6) Get to the location early to cool off and check a mirror – especially if it is hot out you might have sweated and changed your look. This is a good chance to do a final check and adjust your suit and outfit appearance before the big show.
7) Doing a video interview instead of an in-person one? The same advice applies for all interview forms. Dressing up for the job generally helps people perform better, even if it is a phone call where nobody sees you.
8) At the very least, being well-dressed will add to your confidence level! Tell yourself that you will get this job!
Now let's explore some more about interview psycology and how you can leverage your brand and hiring chances with some attention to your presentation.
Dress Depends on the Company and Industry – To a Point
All company cultures are not the same, and neither is their office attire. Some types of organizations – especially in the finance or sales industries will be more formal. For these types of companies, it is definitely best to dress in a full suit and tie. Others (especially tech or start-up companies will be much more casual in their everyday wear. You can check about companies on websites such as Glassdoor or others to find out more about the style and feel.
Even for a more casual company, you cannot go wrong with a suit jacket and nice pants. It is proven that a man in a suit always portrays a more powerful and serious outlook, and provides a feeling of trust and professionalism. For a casual company where people don’t dress formally, you could wear a t-shirt as a base underneath the jacket and skip the tie (some informal industry companies think a tie is too much).
Regardless of the company, the interviewers will for sure pay attention to your attire and way of presenting yourself. Therefore, it is always better to err on the side of being more formal than more casual.
Your Interview Shows Your Brand
Companies will assume that you are going to show the best “you” if you really want to work for them. So if you are sloppy or seem to not care, they will automatically associate this with you yourself. Do you really want the interviewer to be distracted or thinking about this when you are trying to showcase your skills and good attitude? Even if your outfit itself might not make or break the interview result, its important to put everything you can to give the impression and beat out your competition.
Maybe you are not so fashion-focused and don’t think it is worth the investment to upgrade to some new professional clothes. You could even still have the same suit from your prom or a friend’s wedding a decade ago. Well times have changed and so have you. There are not that many better investments for important interviews and events than a new suit.
What Does the Science Say?
In hiring interviewer’s brains, there will always be a wiring that subconsciously wants to limit risk, and bring on people who are both trustworthy and professional. This in fact is influenced based on past experience and probability. While there are exceptions, in general people who are more detail oriented, organized and clean tend to give a better impression and produce better results. The hiring manager also wants to be proud of you in the company of other team-members, and having someone that knows how to be professional will ease some of the worry in this way.
So human psychology certainly comes into play here. Studies have shown that people will in general trust someone that is dressed better with important decisions. Just think about it from your own perspective -- if given the choice between someone who comes off and sloppy or someone who has the professionalism and confidence in their outfit, who would you choose to take on important job tasks?
**** Ready to get a suit for your upcoming interview but not sure about the sizing? Check out our post 'The One-Stop Guide to Ordering the Best Size of Suit Online' here to find all the answers. ****