They say first impressions last, and indeed they do. When you meet a prospective employer for the first time, they immediately form an opinion of you based on what you're wearing and how you carry yourself. Here is a guide on how dressing like you’ve already received an offer will set you up for winning.

Creating a professional identity

Part of creating a professional identity is displaying a professional image in your appearance and presentation. Before heading out for your interview, take a look at your reflection in the mirror, you should ask yourself:

  1. For the interview: do I make a good impression? Would I hire the person in the mirror?

  2. On the job: based solely on my appearance, do I look like I reflect the company in a positive light?

The reality is that the way you look plays a role in your success as a candidate, so much so that it could influence your chances of getting that job.

Dress for success!

For the traditional jobs that have been around for a long time such as those in the accounting and law fields, you can never go wrong with a formal shirt and tie, or skirt; a blazer and formal shoes.

With the upsurge of the digital age, a lot of new and exciting work spaces have been created which allow many employees to express themselves more creatively. For example, If you are applying for , say in the social media space, a smart casual look will suffice, So chino pants, a white shirt with sometimes a nice pair of sneakers would be considered as smart casual.

Clothing tips:

  • Dress appropriate to your industry you’re in. Every company has a dress code; for some it’s casual, while others are semi-formal and formal. TIP: call the HR person you’re dealing with and ask what the dresscode for your interview is

  • Make sure everything you wear fits. If it’s too big, you look sloppy; if it’s too small, you look tacky

  • You don’t need to have a huge budget for an interview, just make certain your attire is clean and ironed out!

  • Stay away from bright colours and bold patterns as they tend to become distracting and flashy

  • If you’re not sure what too bright is, rather opt for neutrals and earth tones — navy blue, brown, black, grey and beige.

Appearance tips:

  • Your scent/smell: TIP: Anything someone can smell isn’t good! Just one spritz of perfume or one dab of aftershave will do

  • Carry some gum or peppermint in your bag to chew on before the interview for a fresh breath

  • If you have lots of piercings, try to remove them (earrings only is a good rule), try and cover the tattoos you have; and the less you accessorise, the better.

Interview attire preparation tips:

  • Make sure you have washed and ironed your attire way in advance. If your clothes are dry-clean only, take them to the cleaners before the interview

  • Make sure everything fits correctly the night before

  • Be sure to polish your shoes the night before

Now go out there dressed for success, and own that interview!

Image credit: Freepik