For many people, it can seem old fashioned or overly corporate to talk about ‘appropriate’ interview attire. Many workplaces have adopted casual dress codes and the lines between semi-casual/business casual/work-wear are continually being blurred. However, no matter what the dress code of the company you’re interviewing with, how you look in the job interview can have a huge impact on your success. At minimum you should be smart-casual and there are certain unwritten rules about dressing for job interviews. Below are Excel Recruitment’s tips on how to dress for success.

Show that you want to be there

Our consultants love when they’re sending candidates out for interview and the candidate asks what they should wear. It shows they are serious about wanting the job and are willing to put thought and effort into making the best first impression possible! Turning up looking scruffy, dishevelled or overly casual sends a message to the interviewer that you don’t care enough about the job or were just too lazy to put the effort in.

Often looking good is just a by-product of putting the effort in, appearance-wise. Ensuring you’re well-presented means that you, and the interviewer, can focus on what you have to say rather than what you look like.

Play it safe

A huge part of your interview preparation should be researching the company, looking up their website and social media, talking to people you know there or asking your recruitment consultant for info. From this, you should be able to get a decent understanding of the company’s culture and what you should be wearing. An interview outfit for an accountant job will be very different to one for a fashion retail job. If you’re in doubt, it’s always better to play it safe and go more dressy than casual. No matter what the company, at minimum you should be dressed smart-casual.

On the theme of playing it safe, be careful of your accessories. No loud or jangly jewellery or flashy or comedic ties. You should always aim to look professional and put together.

Keep it clean

For jobs like butchers, deli staff, chefs or any job where hygiene and cleanliness are paramount make sure you bring this same attention to hygiene to your interview day. Make sure hair is neatly styled and out of your face, nails are clean and trimmed and your general appearance is neat and well-groomed. On the reverse, avoid too much perfume or aftershave. As with the previous point, the aim is to ensure the interviewer is focusing on what you say, not what you look/ smell like.

Pay attention to the details

Doing the small things right will go a long way towards looking your best, and your potential employer will be impressed that you notice that you’re detail orientated. Things like shining your shoes, ensuring your clothes are clean, ironed and fit you well don’t have to take a lot of time but can make a huge difference to your overall presentation.

Finally, when it comes to job interviews, your experience and personality are the most important and are what will get you the job. However, it is important to start off on the right foot and do everything you can to leave a lasting, positive impression.