The Haus of Hiring can produce some serious judges.
It’s home to HR Managers who tend to Tyra Candidates within the first 90 seconds of meeting, ready and waiting to decide whether or not each eager hopeful moves onto the next round in the interview process. And when it comes to scouting talent, your fashion taste is one of those factors being debated within that fierce, first minute and a half.
Being too fashion forward could actually take your Candidacy a step back, and being under dressed will definitely underwhelm. So, when it comes to your interview outfit, take note of these head-to-toe tips to stay in the running to becoming a Hiring Manager’s Next Top Candidate.
It’s tempting to view an interview as a very formal occasion, and it is an important event, however; when it comes to your hair, fancy up-do’s are interview don’ts. “You don’t want to overdo it”, advises Christa Mancino, an Account Manager with Procom. “You should avoid things like getting blow outs or wedding-type up do’s before your meeting. You don’t want to have your hair look like something you didn’t or couldn’t do yourself, or this can cause the interviewer to become skeptical of your actual capabilities.” Your locks shouldn’t be a distraction, but they should be clean, brushed, frizz free and combed away from your face or tied back in a simple style.
If you're a fan of keeping it short and sweet, ensure that your hair is brushed and styled with minimum gel. Yet if you lean into a more "long hair, don't care" style, it's best to mirror the ladies and have it clean, brushed, frizz free and combed away from your face or tucked behind your ears. "I say cut it, but I know hair is a very personal thing, so I would suggest that one keeps it (1) clean and (2) in place," advises Arek Godlewski, a Technical Recruiter with Procom. "No man buns, please!"
Your face definitely paints a picture of what you present to the world, but leave the heavy strokes for after-hours! “You should wear the makeup... not let the makeup wear you... meaning, if it's very noticeable... it's too bold,” says Valerie Anderson-Migliore, a Technical Recruiter with Procom.
Your tones and colours should be as neutral and natural as possible, so be subtle and fresh-faced with low-key applying. You want to feel like your most confident self, but it's always good to keep in mind a professional environment when deciding.
First things first – are you angling for a position at a start-up or a corporate company? The type of business you’re applying to will affect the business of choosing your outfit. Pre-interview research will reveal snippets of the company’s corporate culture, so once you uncover the dress code, don an outfit just a notch above what everyone else is wearing— and a blazer is never a bad idea.
Confidence can come from the clothes we wear, but remember: You want to reveal your best bid for Candidacy - not too much of your skin. So when it comes to interviews, always focus your fashion on the conservative side. Dress professionally – devoid of any spaghetti straps, low cleavage, tight dresses or short skirts. Ana Algernon, a Technical Recruiter with Procom admits, “Anything too revealing will be an immediate put off. You want to be conservative and work appropriate.”
A common consensus is that a suit and tie is your best corporate bet and business casual will carry you through a start-up interview…but what about the accessories? A man’s tie can speak to his personality but it can also be a distraction. “Love a bold tie for other days, but for interviewing, you don't need the distraction,” says Marnie Pertsinidis, an Account Manager at Procom. “Also, everyone has a different idea of bold, so best to err on the side of conservative.” When you're heading out the door, double check that you aren't sporting any stains or wrinkles and that your shirt is properly tucked in.
Here’s a rule of thumb, when it comes to interviews: An open toe is a no-go, and heels over 3 inches are best left in the closet. If you’re having trouble walking in your stilettos, the Hiring Manager will probably have no problem walking away. Valerie advises, “Scuffed, shabby shoes and too high heels are always a turn off. Also ladies: If your heels lose their rubber tip…visit the shoe repair!”
You’ve got it a bit easier when it comes to the shoe game, just ensure they match what you're wearing and you don’t have any notable scuffs, stains or mud/dirt on them.
When it comes to your job interview fashion, model your behaviour with these tips in mind, and be confident that you have what it takes to becoming a Hiring Manager's Next Top Candidate.