Guide: how to dress for a job interview according to what you want to communicate

Guide: how to dress for a job interview according to what you want to communicate



A complete guide, for men and women, with advice on how to go dressed for a job interview according to what you want to communicate

More and more HR specialists are advising you to spend as much time preparing your appearance for a job interview as you do on your CV.

The numbers support this advice: 41% of employers recognize that those who dress in a professional manner have more options to be promoted in their company and it has been discovered that you can earn 5% more per year simply by improving your wardrobe.

The truth is that the clothes through which we choose to express ourselves have an undeniable semiotic charge that, in a context such as a job interview, becomes even more important.

But what message-perhaps unnoticed-are we issuing with our wardrobe? How can we use that symbolism in our favor ?

How to go dressed for a job interview to communicate that you are really interested?

It is a common mistake to believe that there is a universal attire to be interviewed, when the reality is that a suit in an informal job interview will play absolutely against you. Think of the following:

If your boss were Mark Zuckerberg , would you come to the interview in a suit?
Would you go to a young start-up like a big corporation?
Nothing expresses more interest in the position than doing homework and presenting yourself in a job interview with attire in harmony with the corporate culture of the company . For this you should investigate the label of the company when dressing, being social networks an invaluable source of these valuable photos behind the scenes that can offer you a lot of information.

Studies show that most of the staff turnover is because these workers do not fit into the corporate culture of the company more than a lack of skills or experience. Make sure you are communicating that you are ready to be "one of yours" .

How to go dressed for a job interview to show that you are responsible?
Those who dress in a more formal way, suggest the studies, are perceived as more disciplined and trustworthy. In addition, they get more lucrative deals during their negotiations.

And there do not end the surprises. An investigation showed that we are 3.5 times more likely to follow a man who crosses a red light when he is wearing a suit.

In case of doubt, and unless your previous research identifies a very relaxed corporate culture, always opt for a more formal clothing than you would wear in your professional day to day .


How to go dressed for a job interview to show attention to the details?
Make sure your clothes are clean and perfectly ironed. A dress with spots or too wrinkled would ruin your perception of a professional who cares about the details .

Do not forget to also select those pieces of clothing that suit you. A garment that does not fit well can make you look careless and will make you feel uncomfortable during the interview.

Because there is very little room for personal expression in a situation of such formality , it is the details that will be sending a clear message about your attitude. Other aspects that you should inspect are:

  • Personal hygiene. Hair and nails, among others, should be under control 
  • The perfume must be kept low so as not to overwhelm the interviewer
  • The same with accessories, should never divert attention from our capabilities

How to go dressed for a job interview to expose that you are not afraid to risk?
Experts recommend resorting to a minimalist style that is in the background and puts the emphasis on our professional skills. However, injecting into our look certain features of individuality can catapult us towards success .

The participants in a study interpreted that the man wearing a red bow tie had a higher position, both in status and in competitions, than the one wearing a black tie. What led the researchers to conclude that deviating slightly from social conventions suggests a position of sufficient control to assume the "social cost" that it entails.

But watch the excesses. A simple detail that breaks with the monotony of the outfit or a small differentiating accessory are enough to establish your individuality without looking strident.

How to go dressed for a job interview to emanate authority vs cordiality?
Do you want to communicate security, intelligence and authority? Opt for darker tones. Does the job involve a service to the public and what you want to transmit is closeness and cordiality? In that case you should use lighter tones.

One color especially to avoid is red. Red implies power in most cases and can be aggressive or contradictory in a situation in which the baton is carried by the interviewer.

In case of doubt, the infallible color is blue . The concepts with which it is associated can be truly favorable in a job interview:

  • Knowledge
  • Integrity
  • Serenity
  • Creativity
  • non-verbal communication

Men: how to go dressed for a job interview
In the case of men, there are certain peculiarities that must be taken into account when choosing an image for a job interview:

Opt for shirts in neutral tones . You can accentuate your individuality and add some contrast with an American that contains some texture or even a tie in bright colors

Reduce your accessories to the minimum. An alliance (if applicable) and the watch should be the only accessories that present

The shoes should be as polished as your resume and be of a single tone, preferably neutral. The Oxford types are suitable for different degrees of formality

In the case of wearing a beard or mustache it is advisable to give a good review before the interview . A too long or careless beard can give the impression that you do not pay attention to details
The hair should be presented as clearly as possible, either short or long, and you should keep it at bay to present a clear face. A job interview is not the ideal time to experiment with a new haircut , making you feel really insecure if the result is not what you expected

Unless the dress code of the company is deliberately informal, try to avoid the cowboys . Opt instead for "semi-dress" pants in the case of a casual business interview or directly the suit if it is a very formal interview

Do you have difficulties to identify which garments to choose? In this explanatory video the human resources expert of the fashion industry Marat Chavtarayev offers examples of the three main looks for a job interview: suit, business casual and informal

Women: how to dress in a job interview
Women, on the other hand, usually have more visual elements in their attire. These are some of the ones that must be kept under scrutiny:

  • Will you wear a skirt or dress? In this case, always choose to wear socks. In the event that the interview is held in a hot month, select a summer stockings whose color is close to the tone of your skin. Always wear a spare stockings in your bag as a precaution
  • Avoid very high heels, could give your image a certain hardness. A closed shoe with a low heel is always a safe option
  • If you want to wear painted nails, lean towards the most neutral manicure tones
  • Leave in the closet those stylistic elements that can divert attention from your professional skills : short skirts, striking prints, pronounced necklines, lace ... The idea is that the focus is on your skills and not on your clothes
  • Introduce yourself with a hairstyle that keeps your face clear . It is recommended that you avoid bows, braids and hair accessories
  • The norm is clear: if you doubt if that garment is appropriate for a job interview or not, do not take it
  • Makeup can help you project a professional image. To do this, select nude tones and avoid those more ornate and striking makeups . It's about you feeling comfortable in your own skin to be able to defend your talent. So, if you do not get used to makeup, it is recommended that the day of the interview you do not do it or reduce it to the minimum expression

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