Whether it’s for a completely new job, or you’re striving for a promotion, how we turn up to an interview is crucial to our success.
First impressions are everything; research claims that it takes three seconds, others suggest it takes just one-tenth of a second for us to form an impression of someone, their character and their personality.
“Interview tips” receives over 4,000 searches a month and searches for “interview outfits for women” are up 128% in the last month, it’s obvious the UK needs support when it comes to their interviews.
So what should we be wearing to an interview to nail that first impression? And what should we avoid at all costs to make sure we land that promotion? Men’s accessories brand, Trendhim, surveyed and interviewed senior employers and hiring managers with experience in hiring new staff, asking for their expert opinion on what to wear to a job interview, including the best and worst interview outfits and reasons for their decisions.
Nail that interview: experts share their do’s and don’ts
“Loud” patterned shirts
Bag / laptop bag
Match shoes to clothing
The research highlighted that quarter zips to a job interview were a big no-no, as they were said to give off ‘Dad vibes’ – or the impression that a candidate has “strolled in off the street after a country pub lunch”. “Loud” patterned shirts were said to be more suitable for nights out – as were strappy shoes, sunglasses and untucked shirts. Skinny jeans in an interview setting were described as ‘criminal’.
The data also highlighted that those opting for trainers were less likely to leave a good impression, at just 6%. Jeans and T-shirts (8% respectively) were also less likely not to leave a favourable impression.
A smart shirt was seen as a good way of “showing you are presentable”. A belt “shows effort”, according to one of our respondents. Close to two-thirds (64%) said that wearing a blazer or suit jacket would leave a good impression.
Smart shoes and watches also featured in several responses as a means of making a good first impression, with hiring managers indicating that they prefer shoes over trainers. Trainers were seen as perhaps too “casual” or “messy” for an interview. Style expert, Trendhim, specifically recommends Oxfords or quarter brogues for job interviews.
Style expert and creative lead at Trendhim, Malte Köhn, commented: “When it comes to deciding what to wear to an interview, find out what your future colleagues are wearing. Check out the job’s website, LinkedIn account or social media and see what people look like.
How are they dressed? Suited-up or smart casual? Wearing bold or minimalist accessories? Take what you see and do it better. The goal is to have the interviewer picture you working there. Fitting in is just as important as being a standout hire. And remember to leave those quarter zips and skinny jeans at home!”
For style tips and advice on what to wear to an interview, head to the Trendhim website for more.