Dress to Impress

You're about to head off for one of the most nerve-wracking days of your life - the Big Interview. You're fully prepared, you've checked out the example questions and you know your CV inside out. But all that can come to nothing if you don't make the right first impression. What you wear and how you look can be as important to an employer as your ability to do the job.

The name of the game is really common sense. Remember that you are trying to impress the employer with your professional image.


  • Keep colours neutral, your CV should stand out, not your suit
  • Suits/shirts should be clean and not creased. Wear a dark suit with a white shirt and save your Saturday Night Fever outfit for another day!
  • Be conservative with your tie, don't try to be 'wacky' with a Mickey Mouse or Homer Simpson tie as you'll stand out a mile and be earmarked as a bit of an oddball
  • Jewellery should be limited, do not wear anything that jangles, clinks or distracts the interviewer and remove big brooches, face jewellery or ankle bracelets
  • Never wear too much make-up or perfume/aftershave
  • Make sure your hair is clean, neat and tidy and your nails are manicured
  • Be sparing with accessories, you are not there to make a fashion statement
  • Overall choose something relatively conservative for an interview, after all, an interviewer wearing outrageous clothing would definitely distract you!


  • When clothes suit your body type your confidence is boosted.TV shows frequently feature information about how to choose clothing and give makeovers to people as examples.
  • Why not try on ranges in specialist shops while gaining the assistance of staff. Say what you need it for, to get the most from their experience. Get the best advice you can - and take it!
  • Buying just one suit, which is made or fully adjusted to fit you personally, will give an extremely good impression. You will feel much more confident and in control of the situation.
  • Wearing new shoes for an interview can be a mistake as it's not a good idea to sit through an interview being distracted by pinched toes


  • Wear your interview clothing when looking for your shoes, shirts, ties, blouses, jewellery etc.
  • Get as much staff advice as possible.
  • A co-ordinated look is likely to be more conservative in effect.
  • Don't forget to check that collars on shirts/blouses work with jacket lapels.

Overall impression

Well, what else could be left?

Take a good look - is your hairstyle appropriate for both the job and the image you create with your clothes?  If not, don't worry about changing it, you can always change it back once the job is yours!

Most people feel nervous meeting new people so make sure you rehearse initial greetings and get confident about your appearance.

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