Personal Brand Preparation

Why Looking Good is So Important

Looking good
Written by Jonathan

My Mother used to say ‘Look good and you will feel good’. And she’s right. If you like what you see in the mirror, chances are you’ll feel good about yourself.

Why not give yourself a head start at an interview and increase your confidence, by looking good?

Interviews are like first dates. You want to look and feel your best and impress the person you’re meeting.

First Impressions

Remember first impressions last. The moment that an interviewer sees you, they will make certain assumptions about you.

It happens to us all. We do it subconsciously all the time. You could argue that it shouldn’t be this way, but it doesn’t matter whether you agree with it or not, it happens and it will always happen.

For an interviewer, the questions they’ll be asking in their mind will be:

  • Do you look right?
  • Do you look like the type of person that’ll fit in here?
  • Does what you’re wearing look appropriate?

Here are 5 steps to ensure that you get it right for your next interview.

1. Knowing what to wear

So what do you wear at your next interview? Start with understanding what people at that company already wear. This ensures that you don’t get it wrong and turn up in your jeans when people wear a suit and vice versa.

So, how do you find out what they wear? Well there are three options:

  • Ask the recruiter who put you forward for the role; or
  • Phone the company and speak with someone on reception and ask their advice; or
  • If the company is close go early in the morning and see what people wear to work

2. Look your Best

Once you know what you need to wear find your best outfit to match. That doesn’t mean you have to spend lots on something expensive. Just make sure that it’s your best suit, best dress, best trousers etc. Feeling good in what you wear will help you get in the right mindset for the interview.

3. The Outfit

A classic and stylish look that will help you stand out is wearing block (solid) colours. Wear navy and grey with a contrasting block colour such as white, blue or pink. Leave anything colourful, stripey or funny at home.

If the organisation has a more relaxed dress code, I’d still recommend going smart casual. This approach will look good on you and show that you care about your appearance even when you’re dressed more casually.

4. The Fit

Whatever you decide to wear, ensure that it fits properly.

Far too many men wear a suit that looks like their Dad’s or something far too tight, that breathing looks to be a problem.

For women ensure that the skirt is the right length and that your top is appropriate. I’ve interviewed female candidates with skirts that are too short and tops that are too low. Not a good way to stand out.

If you at all in doubt find something else to wear.

5. The Look

I know this is obvious, but check that your clothes are clean, crease free and don’t smell. Your outfit should look as though it is new and crease free.

Shoes should be cleaned and polished, and don’t forget the heels too. You want to look your best from head to toe.

Hair should be neat and nails should look tidy too. Aftershave or perfume should be subtle and not over powering – less is more in this case.

Take some mints so that you can freshen your breadth before the interview.  Avoid smoking (if you’re a smoker) as it does linger and leaves a stale smell which doesn’t create a good impression.

So What?

Why is this important? You want to create a positive impression with the interviewer before you start.

A positive first impression gives you a head start. Interviewers will look to positively reinforce their initial first impressions of you.

 

QUESTION: What do you do to look good before an interview?

 

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About the author

Jonathan