As we all know, there are accepted standards in dressing for certain occasions and for events. Clothing is categorized in many ways. One such category would be where clothing is grouped under functional and occasional. Each garment has a desired function or an appearance. So according to purpose, according to the comfort and according to its appearance we are able to decide which clothing suits which activity, occasion and function. One such activity or an event would be facing a job interview. Anyone who is reading this article right now must be fully aware that a job interview requires more professional attire for both men and women alike. But do we know exactly what professional attire suits the job interview that we are attending? This is the reason that I thought that it would be good if a discussion on attire that is suitable for job interviews necessary.
As you decide to go for a job interview, your attire should be chosen depending on certain factors such as the ones listed below.
It is always good to do a small background check on the company that is offering you the job. Let Google do the task for you! And not to forget a little conversation with someone who works there or a quick message on a social network is sure to bring you a few details! Now why is it important to know at least a few things about where you are planning to work? Apart from the fact that knowing a few things about the company would be a tad bit helpful in a few questions you are supposed to face, a back ground check would always help you to understand the reputation of the company, what level of professionalism is expected from you and the overall work environment of the company. Suppose if you are searching for employment in Sri Lanka. Depending on whatever information you gather, it would be easy for you to decide even on wearing a sari or a kandyan since in Sri Lanka, these two attires are also considered in certain sectors as professional. If you are living abroad, it is essential to decide on your attire depending on the sector and place of work and the work environment.But make sure to re-check your blouse,its length along with the deepness of front and back necklines since these too contribute towards a neat and professional appearance.
Position applied for
Imagine this. Your lifelong dream was to work in a bank in an executive level. And that much awaited interview letter or call finally arrives. If you turn up at the interview in a pair of jegings teamed up with a shirt blouse and a bright colored belt with large earrings, I can guarantee you the impression would not be that good. This is just a simple example. Always know about your position. If you are applying for an executive level, always make your clothing minimal and stay away from blazers or jackets. If you are applying for positions that require more knowledge for example as management trainee or any management level, do make sure that your wardrobe is complete with a neutral colored suit since it will bring out the desired appearance for the applied position. If you are applying for a position in a call center, you are free to experiment with your official wear like going for a long sleeved blouse with no collar and a tight skirt or a small print pastel colored blouse with a dark colored pant or skirt.
Time of the interview
A fact that we all forget to consider is the time of the interview. This is directly linked to our comfort and our appearance during the interview. For this it is important to know about the type of fabrics and also the colors. Your eyes tell you that the new silk shirt blouse you bought is a sure winner. If you have a scheduled interview that requires your arrival in the middle of the day and especially if your living in the tropics, just imagine what you will look like at the time of your interview thanks to all the perspiration during all that travelling or even standing in the sun for just a few minutes. So always choose clothing according to your comfort because it will determine your level of confidence during the interview. Choose tops made from silk and other materials falling into the soft and draping category if you will be traveling in personal transport or in a taxi service to the place where the interview will be conducted have time for prepping as well as you will be relaxed and calm in nature. But if your only option is public transport, especially in the tropics, it would be better to settle down for cotton or polyester mixed cotton.
Distance to the place of interview
Consider the distance you have to travel. This point is linked to the previous one as your comfort during the traveling time is essential. The ease in your clothing will determine your appearance during the interview. So depending n your body shape, choose your clothing with the right amount of ease especially when it comes to movement.
Before going into detail about the types of clothing, know your two categories in business or else office wear.
The business professional category
The business professional clothing would be the two piece suits, any type of blazer or jacket, shirts blouses, tight skirts etc…
The business casual category
This is where you are allowed to experiment with your office clothing but don’t forget to stick to the bottom line, “professionalism”!
Now let’s take a look at the types of clothing for an interview.
The basic attire for women in office wear or professional attire would be
Ladies shirt blouse
Ladies pant (bottom should have a slight flare while front of pant should be flat)
Two piece suit: – skirt with jacket or blazer, pant with jacket or blazer
The basic attire discussed above can always be teamed up with more clothing. But an essential requirement would be the appearance of neatness in the clothing. A ladies pant can be worn with a blouse which does not have a collar. But make sure that it lacks of unnecessary trimmings or embellishments near the neck area. A tie blouse would be perfect with a tight skirt but make sure that the blouse is of one color and also that it does not have too much of pleating and not sleeveless. If your body shape is more onto the heavier side it is better to avoid pencil skirts and wearing pants for the job interview since it would result in less neat look. A nice shift dress paired up with a neutral colored blazer would do the trick. Also a white ladies shirt blouse with a dark colored tight skirt would give the neat and professional look. For those who fall under hourglass figures or who are thinner in the lower body, ladies pants with a shirt blouse neatly tucked in and a matching belt or a pencil skirt with a neatly tucked in blouse or shirt blouse will also give an appealing and confident appearance.
If you wear a skirt, make sure that the length is not below the knee. On inch above the knee would be ideal. If you live in a western country, make sure if your skirt is a bit shorter to wear a pair of pantyhose which is not skimpy but skin colored and smooth. The hemline of the blazer you choose to wear should end somewhere between the waist and the hip, which means it should not be too long or too short. If you have outgrown it in size by growing taller, then it is high time to switch to a new one!
Colors and prints
Make sure that blouses are in pastel colors or white. Suits should be of neutral colors and skirts and pants are best in black, dark gray, light gray, brown or navy blue. It doesn’t matter if your blouse has a light print of vertical stripes. Depending on the post you have applied for you are free to choose small prints. But stay within the frame of white and pastel colors. Avoid anything bold and contrasting.
You are not attending a beauty pageant! An interview requires minimum yet make up that accentuates your facial features. Select earthy colors or skin tones for a gentle touch of eye shadows and a matte lip color that matches your skin tone. Make sure that mascara and eyeliner is minimal.
Basic pumps with a 1” or 2” inch heel would be your ideal footwear. Avoid strappy sandals, platforms or wedges.
Minimal is your new best friend. Stick to only earrings which are studs. Do not make any other piercing visible as well as it is better to avoid tattoos in areas such as the neck, feet or base of palm etc…….
Try to carry only your portfolio case or a light brief case if you are being interviewed for a higher position. If you decide on a hand bag, make sure it is in leather color and not bright in appearance.
If your attire requires the usage of a belt, once again go for leather colors or matte colors.
Make sure your perfume is also minimal.
Try to keep it simple and focus on neatness more than style. Loose hair is not a good option. Avoid side fringes or anything that covers your face. A neat hair bun, a ponytail or a slight bump with a ponytail would be satisfactory.
So there you go! This is a little guideline to help you ace that interview and impress your employer. Over everything, maintain a good confidence about your own self and never under estimate your own abilities. Face each question with a good level of confidence and maintain a positive attitude throughout. Preparing for the interview is a must. Maintain a level of confidence in speech. Rehearse possible questions at home and speak to a few who might be already employed in the HR sector. All this will help you to get through your interview. So keep on achieving more and more and let your fashion statement represent the inner you in the corporate sector. So chin up, best fit on and your ready to go!
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