The last one I did, was an interview with a startup. Their work culture was rather easy-going and casual when compared to the corporate-social background I come from. I wore a saree to it. When I entered the office I knew I had dressed out of place. Not that anyone judged me for my choice of clothing, but I definitely felt awkward and regretted not doing my research. First impressions come with presentation, and a part of that presentation is determined by your choice of apparel, vibe and personality.
Here are a few tips that will help you learn from my mistake and look the best for your interview.
1) Comfort clothing is best clothing
This is an age-old tip for all occasions. You can only look and feel confident if you are wearing something you are comfortable in. This also means dressing according to the weather. Smart summer fabrics are khadi or cotton. However, dressing as per your comfort does not mean showing up in your PJS or flip flops. Even if you are creatively inclined – let your art speak for your madness and not your appearance.
2) Prepare in advance
Yes! Do your homework. Conduct a research on the work culture of your potential employer. If possible, talk to the HR and ask them about the dress code that they follow and if there is any required dress code for the interview. This will help you decide if you should be dressed formally, casually or in smart casuals.
Pro Tip: Stick to smart casuals. It is the most widely accepted dress code and will never make you feel over- or under-dressed unless asked otherwise.
3) The ‘must haves’ for your wardrobe
Let’s face it, gone are the times when men had fewer choices than women. The internet is brimming with websites and apps that offer you a whole new world of choices in fashion, wardrobe and what not!
Thus, it is crucial to go find your style now. Find out where your comfort lies and get a few of these essentials for your wardrobe:
For men: Smart casual t-shirts, chinos or jeans, a formal shirt (preferably black or white), shoes (office loafers, formal shoes).
For women: Formal shirt, skirt, trousers or jeans, kurtis, leggings, sandals or shoes.
Of course, depending on the season, you might want to pair these up with smart blazers/jackets, sweaters.
4) Groom yourself
Your personal grooming speaks volumes about your personality. Pay close attention to basic hygiene, fix up your hair, do not wear creased/greased clothes, never pick out too tight or loose either and keep those shoes polished. You are going to be well groomed.
5) Get your rest.
Nothing beats the energy that good rest gets you. This interview could be the professional breakthrough you have waited months for. You won’t be able to think clearly or perform well if your body and mind are not in sync. Eat well the day before and read about your job profile, the skills required and other information that you can use wisely in your interview. Get a good night’s sleep. Trust me, this has always worked!
5) Dress up with a smile
As utterly philosophical as this may sound, no matter how well you have dressed, if you are not smiling, it is no good. Your smile is what will boost your confidence and also make you much more energetic, warm and acceptable to your potential employers. The positivity it brings will instantly warm everyone up to you.
You might have spent mindless hours wondering how to nail that perfect look for your interview. But the truth is that nothing will be more fashionable than your own style. Be comfortable, confident and energetic. All the best!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)