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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

                        Freelance Writer

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                        Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                        16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                        16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                        The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

                        How about a unique spin on things?

                        These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

                        1. Empty your mind.

                        It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

                        Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

                        Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

                        Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

                        How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

                        2. Keep certain days clear.

                        Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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                        This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

                        3. Prioritize your work.

                        Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

                        Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

                        Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

                        How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                        4. Chop up your time.

                        Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

                        5. Have a thinking position.

                        Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

                        What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

                        6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

                        To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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                        Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

                        7. Don’t try to do too much.

                        OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

                        8. Have a daily action plan.

                        Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

                        Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

                        9. Do your most dreaded project first.

                        Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

                        10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

                        The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

                        11. Have a place devoted to work.

                        If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

                        But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

                        Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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                        Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

                        12. Find your golden hour.

                        You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

                        Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

                        Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

                        Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

                        13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

                        It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

                        By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

                        Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

                        14. Never stop.

                        Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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                        Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

                        There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

                        15. Be in tune with your body.

                        Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

                        16. Try different methods.

                        Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

                        It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

                        Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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