How Dressing Affects Your Interview or Presentation

 The way you dress defines the person you are and what value you bring to the table. In the corporate world, you are judged by the way you look and dress up for work. So, it’s time to follow the old advice – Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Dressing up in decent, subtle and, comfortable clothing comes as a part of the work ethics followed worldwide. Most job seekers know they’re supposed to dress professionally for a job interview, but not all realize how truly important appropriate attire is. We need to know how dressing affects your interview or presentation.

The clothes you wear help set the tone of the meeting and have a huge impact on where the interview leads. Understanding the role your outfit will play in your interview will help you choose the right clothes — and ensure that your clothing doesn’t negatively affect your job prospects. We need to know how dressing affects your interview or presentation.

Make a First Impression

Employers read a lot into a candidate’s attire, and before you even have the chance to introduce yourself, a potential employer will already be developing his first impression based on your appearance. If you present yourself professionally — in a suit and tie, for example — his first impression will likely be that you have respect for him and you care about the job. However, if you look unkempt or dishevelled, he could decide that you’re lazy or feel the job isn’t that important, and you might have difficulty convincing him otherwise no matter what you say during the interview.

Impact of Confidence

When you walk into an interview room and you know you’re dressed for success, you’ll likely feel much more confident about yourself. This confidence will show in your body language and overall demeanour, and the person interviewing you will pick up on it in your responses to her questions. Alternatively, if you’re self-conscious about your appearance, you’re likely to feel more nervous during the interview, and all aspects of your behaviour will reflect your discomfort. We need to know how dressing affects your interview or presentation

Wear your power suit or a smart, well-ironed, neatly tucked shirt with nicely fitted trousers to interviews to showcase power, confidence, and elegance. In contrast, you can also try to wear something casual and see the difference in your walk, talk, and emotions. You truly embody your emotions in your dressing.

 Being Hired

Believe it or not, your appearance could make or break your chances of getting hired. While an employer can’t discriminate against you for your race, sex, age or disability, he can certainly turn you down because you weren’t dressed appropriately during the interview. An employer is more likely to hire a qualified candidate who showed up in well-fitting, professional attire over a candidate with similar experience who arrived looking as though he got dressed in the dark. We’re hard-wired to believe that those who are dressed in formal suits are men of power. These people appear more confident, stylish and well put together as compared to others. Studies show that clothing affects how people perceive us and what we think about ourselves.

For instance: Women who dress up in a more masculine fashion at meetings are more likely to be hired or taken seriously than those who show up in a floral skirt and dainty necklaces. We must understand the work ethics that guide the styling and dressing of each employee at work.

Distractions Causes Harm

While you’re telling a potential employer about your greatest accomplishments at your last job, the last thing you want is for her attention to be focused on a stain on your blazer or a tattoo peeking out from beneath your sleeve. An outfit that isn’t clean, well-fitting and conservative can distract the interviewer and cause her to only hear a portion of your answers to her questions and also add on a bad reputation. We need to know how dressing affects your interview or presentation

Attire of Men and Women:

Men’s Attire

The best interview outfit for men in the corporate world tend to be conservative. Men should always default to wearing a suit. All clothes should fit well and be free of stains.

Here are a few guidelines for men who are interviewing in corporate roles:

  1. Suit in a solid colour such as navy, black, or dark grey
  2. Long-sleeved shirt that is white or colour coordinated with the suit
  3. Leather belt
  4. Tie
  5. Dark socks and conservative leather shoes
  6. Little or no jewellery
  7. Neat, professional hairstyle
  8. Limited amount of aftershave
  9. Neatly trimmed nails
  10. Portfolio or briefcase

Women’s Interview Attire

In general, interview outfit for women in corporate jobs is more complicated and varied than it is for men. The increased options make assembling an interview outfit a bit more challenging for women than for men.

Here are the fundamental building blocks of what women should wear to a professional interview:

  1. Suit in black, navy blue or dark grey
  2. Suit skirt just below or above the knee
  3. Coordinated blouse
  4. Conservative shoes
  5. Limited but elite jewellery
  6. Professional hairstyle
  7. Neutral-coloured pantyhose
  8. Light makeup and a limited amount of perfume
  9. Clean, neatly manicured nails
  10. Portfolio or briefcase


Putting Your Best Foot Forward

At the interview, your clothes, manners and mannerisms are all on display. Within the first 60 seconds, your self-confidence and ability to present yourself is assessed, don’t let your appearance hinder your capability to accurately promote yourself. We need to know how dressing affects your interview or presentation

  • Model the part of a professional job seeker by
  • Modelling your clothes after their company dress code
  • Wearing clothes free of wrinkles and stains
  • Having trimmed and clean fingernails
  • Having clean and tidy hair
  • Not wearing excessive jewellery or perfume/cologne
  • Polishing shoes so they are scuff-free
  • Choosing clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident
  • Covering up tattoos and removing any body piercings
  • Not talking on your cell phone or listening to your iPod in the waiting area

Appearance is More Than What You Wear

 At a job interview, your appearance is more than the clothes you wear; it also includes projecting the correct non-verbal communication. Your body and body language should exemplify professionalism. In addition to promoting your capabilities through fashion, you also want to showcase your professionalism through your body language such as:

  • Maintaining a pleasant face
  • Having a firm handshake
  • Sitting up straight
  • Establishing friendly eye contact
  • Sustaining inviting body language

Just because you’ve secured the interview, doesn’t mean you’ve secured the job. If you are serious about the job then you need to be serious about your appearance during your interview and presentation. A poor impression due to your appearance could cost you any further employment considerations.
We need to know how dressing affects your interview or presentation

  When interviewing, think of yourself as a book — you will be judged by your cover. Overall grooming and attire should be clean, tidy and neat without being overdone. Any lack in your appearance, consequently, will negatively influence the employer to not consider you further. By putting your best foot forward you are demonstrating your professionalism, organization, confidence and capabilities and you stand a better chance of gaining employment.

Remember, image is everything, and perception is reality. Make sure your image conveys an accurate perception of you.

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