If you believe you are the only person being interviewed for the role, then how you are dressed may be less important. Consider that hiring managers may interview 5-7 people to fill one role and the way to remember who they’ve met in a day can be by what the candidate wore. Don’t be the person who had mud on their shoes or wore a wrinkled shirt. It’s often been said, “Dress as you wish to be remembered”.
Your attire is incredibly important. Make no mistake about it. You will have an opinion formed of you the second you enter the office. If you’re dressed sharply, that impression will clearly be a positive one. However, if you’re dressed inappropriately, you can bet it will hurt your chances of making a good first impression.
First impressions count for a lot.
What impression do you wish to give your interviewer? Remember – your main objective isn’t necessarily to communicate you’re a good dresser. Instead, your professional attire connotes you have respect for the organization and you’re looking to provide a sterling example of what its employees should look like. As Antonio points out on ArtOfManliness.com, your appearance sets the assumptions you will get to prove or disprove.
“If you look sharp, your interviewer is thinking ‘he/she seems on top of things, let’s see if he/she actually is,’” he writes, “If you’re looking a little sloppy, the thought process is more like ‘he/she doesn’t look so great, but I guess we’ll give him/her a shot.’ It’s a lot easier to reinforce an initial assumption than it is to force a change of opinion. By making the default assumption a positive one, you’re saving yourself an uphill struggle for correcting an unflattering first impression.”
Dressing sharply can actually boost your confidence.
Dressing to impress is also a sign of showing your self-confidence. You have to look the part to play the part, right? When you dress like a professional, it helps you feel like you belong in a professional organization. As Antonio explains, it’s known as the “lab coat effect”.
“Studies showing the ‘lab coat effect’ go back to the early 20th century,” he informs, “strong visual stimuli create an associative faith in performance, so that people find, for example, a doctor in a white coat more trustworthy, intelligent, and medically reliable than a doctor in ordinary work clothes.”
It’s all about meshing with the company culture.
We’ve written many a blog about the importance of company culture. How well a candidate fits in with the rest of the group is one of the main concerns of any job interviewer. With that said, it’s important to point out that not every job interview requires a suit and tie or a business dress. How do the people who work for the company you’re applying to dress? Always consider the job and what the appropriate attire is for each unique position.
In some cases, dressing too formally for a job interview can actually be off-putting. “It used to be that you always went to an interview in an interview suit, but today a suit can seem awkward unless you’re interviewing for a job in a more formal industry,” notes Kate Ashford on Monster.com.
If you want the part, dress the part. Be sure to research the companies you wish to work for and learn about the appropriate way to dress for each of your job interviews. Good luck!