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How to Dress to Make a Great Impression Before You Speak in the Interview

How to Dress to Make a Great Impression Before You Speak in the Interview

Interviews can be daunting at the best of times, so doing what we can to be more confident internally will help us shine and give the best impression to our potential employer.

How we dress is a fundamental way to gain confidence within – if we know we look the part, then we’ll also feel the part. Apart from preparing sufficiently, what we wear is the key to showing we mean business and giving ourselves the best opportunity to score that dream job.

You Only Have 10 Seconds to Make a Great First Impression – What You Wear Matters the Most

First impressions can have a huge impact, especially when it comes to job interviews. According to a study conducted by associate professor of psychology at Oregon State University, Frank Bernieri,[1] the first 10 seconds of meeting the interviewer is crucial because in this short time they’ve already decided whether you’d be right for the job or not, depending on how you present yourself, so what you wear has a big initial impact on your chances.

In psychological terms, it comes down to the phenomenon that if a person sees a desirable trait in another, then they automatically assume that the person has further desirable traits. In other words, wearing an appropriate outfit will create a halo effect and cause the interviewer to continue seeing you in a positive light for the duration of the interview – even going as far as dismissing any minor mistakes that you make.

What to Wear to Make Sure You Won’t Lose the Job Chance

Here is a guide to what different outfits both men and women can wear to make that first impression a professional and positive one.

The Interview Dress Code for Men

Suit

    The most common, go-to outfit for a man is always going to be the suit. Investing in a well-tailored suit will go toward making a great impression every time. Try to go for dark colors such as navy, black, or dark grey in order to give a solid look. You may consider a fitted waistcoat underneath to give an even better impression of effort and confidence.

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    Shirt

      When it comes to shirts, wearing solid colors is always a safe bet – white, grey, or blue. If you know a bit more about the company, or you feel confident in yourself, then going for low-patterned shirts such as a small check or subtle pinstripe will add a bit of personality and style. Try not to go for too bold colors or whacky patterns – stay neutral for the best impression.

      Blazer and Smart Trousers

        If you don’t own a suit or don’t feel comfortable wearing one, then combining a smart, fitted blazer with smart trousers will also do the trick. Again, try to keep the colors toned down and make sure the top and bottom don’t clash in terms of color or patterns. They key idea is smart and well-fitted.

        Ties

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          When it comes to ties, it’s okay to go with bold colors such as red, purple, or green, but keep any patterns subtle and make sure they go with your choice of shirt. Classic black or navy ties are the best, so if you don’t want to be worrying about the tie you chose during the interview, then stick with a safe choice.

          Shoes

            Smart, polished shoes are a must when going for an interview. Invest in a good pair of conservative black or brown leather shoes that fit well and are comfortable.

            The Interview Dress Code for Women

            Tops

              Women have a lot more versatility than men when it comes to interview attire, which can make it all the more difficult. The key throughout is conservative, but don’t be afraid to add feminine touches. Tops can be adapted according to the rest of your outfit, but generally if it’s smart, is a solid color, and covers up, then you’re good to go. Don’t be afraid to wear subtle patterns such as floral, but make sure it’s still in keeping with an interview environment.

              Blazer/Jacket

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                Teaming a top with a blazer or jacket can instantly make you look more professional. Again, go for a solid color – dark colors are best, such as black or dark grey, but as long as it’s well fitted and tailored then any subtle color can be pulled off.

                Ladies’ Trouser Suit

                  Investing in a good trouser suit will mean having a great professional look without having to spend too much time thinking about combination of outfits. Team a dark trouser suit with a classic white shirt to get that timeless look. Remember, trouser suits don’t have to make you look masculine – look for a suit with a feminine cut. The trousers can be slim-fitted, or more loose and bootcut depending on the style you’re going for.

                  Skirt

                    If trousers aren’t your thing, then a skirt is a great alternative. Classic pencil skirts are flattering on most body types and give off an air of professionalism. Of course, make sure it’s a conservative length (no higher than the knee), and that it’s comfortable to sit down in. Team this with a tailored shirt or smart top with a belt to create a great interview look.

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                    Dress

                      Choosing a dress may seem easy, but finding the right length, fit, and color can be tricky. You have to make sure you’re comfortable wearing it, otherwise you won’t be concentrating on the all-important interview.

                      Again, stick to dark, solid colors, and make sure it’s not too short or low-cut. Get it right and you can get the ultimate sophisticated look – so team it with a blazer and smart shoes to complete the outfit.

                      Shoes

                        Wearing smart, clean shoes are a must to any interview. Women have the choice of heels or flats, but either are acceptable. Just make sure that you’re comfortable in what you wear. In other words, don’t choose the day of your interview to wear heels for the first time in months. You want to be able to walk confidently and not seem awkward. A nice pair of dark heels or flats go well with any combination of outfit, whether a dress or a trouser suit.

                        Reference

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                        Jenny Marchal

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                        Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                        11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                        11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                        Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                        You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                        But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                        To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                        It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                        “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                        The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                        In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                        Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                        1. Start Small

                        The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                        Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                        Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                        Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                        Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                        Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                        It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                        Do less today to do more in a year.

                        2. Stay Small

                        There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                        But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                        If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                        When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                        I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                        Why?

                        Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                        The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                        Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                        3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                        No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                        There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                        What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                        Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                        This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                        This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                        4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                        When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                        There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                        Peter Drucker said,

                        “What you track is what you do.”

                        So track it to do it — it really helps.

                        But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                        5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                        Peter Drucker also said,

                        “What you measure is what you improve.”

                        So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                        For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                        For writing, it’s 500 words.
                        For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                        For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                        Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                        6. All Days Make a Difference

                        Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                        Will two? They won’t.

                        Will three? They won’t.

                        Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                        What happened? Which one made you fit?

                        The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                        No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                        7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                        Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                        But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                        What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                        It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                        The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                        It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                        It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                        8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                        Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                        Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                        When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                        The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                        Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                        9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                        The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                        Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                        You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                        But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                        So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                        If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                        This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                        The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                        Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                        10. Punish Yourself

                        Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                        I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                        It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                        You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                        No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                        The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                        But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                        11. Reward Yourself

                        When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                        Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                        The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                        After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                        If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                        Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                        If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                        In the End, It Matters

                        What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                        When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                        And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                        “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                        Keep going.

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                        More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                        Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                        [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                        [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                        [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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