So your application efforts have paid off and you got invited to an interview. Well done! However, after an initial happy dance, you need to get back to work. You´re not there yet and need to do some thorough preparation to make sure you´re going to make a great impression and ace this interview. It´s very normal to be very nervous during an important interview so by being very well prepared you can avoid sitting there without knowing what to say. You should prepare as many potential interview questions as possible by listing what points you want to get across for that respective question. Think about questions about the company you´re applying for, about your background, about your competencies and your major skills.
However, what about the more practical preparation? E.g. where is the interview, how do you get to the interview, what are you going to wear. Especially the latter gets often forgotten by candidates in their preparation process resulting in a last minute outfit choice before leaving for your interview. You might wonder whether this is really important, shouldn´t it be about the skills and experience you bring to the table instead of about your looks? Nevertheless, it´s of crucial importance that you make a good first impression and what you´re wearing is an important part of that. In addition, your attire can tell a lot about you and your viewpoints and it shows whether you´re prepared for an interview with this specific company or not.
Therefore, you need to think about your outfit beforehand and include it in your preparation process. To help you finding the perfect outfit for your interview, here are 6 things you should never wear:
- The Basics
This might seem obvious but please wear something clean and decent. That means, not the same outfit you wore the day before or something you would also wear on a night out. Also, make sure your clothes are well fitting, it looks ridiculous if someone comes in with an outfit that is either too small and tight or way too big for them.
- Overly casual
Even if you´re applying to a young, startup place, there is something like too casual. Avoid taking the casual concept too far and dress up a little bit. That means no flip flops, hats, hoodies etc.
- For some companies: overly formal
Believe it or not, there is also something like too formal. Especially if you go to an interview at a place like, for example, Google, all suited up is probably not the way to go. Do you research about the company culture and avoid being way overdressed.
- Hoodies or shirts with comic figures
It´s great that you love Captain America, however, the interviewer does not need to know that the minute you walk in. Wear something neutral!
- Shirts with catchy phrases or your political opinion
Avoid long texts on your clothes, even if you think a quote is very inspirational or a phrase that is your life motto will show the company who you are, just don´t. The interviewer might not understand the text the same way you do and think something completely different. Or, they might just completely disagree with the text on your shirt and of course, there will be points you might disagree on however you don´t need to push that in their face the entire interview. Maybe needless to say, but especially stay away from anything that shows your political preference.
- Anything too distracting
The focus of the interview should be on why they should hire you and why your background makes you the perfect match for the job. Therefore, you want to avoid wearing anything too distracting. Think about bright colors, a lot of accessories, crazy patterned ties, way too much perfume and definitely don´t wear anything too revealing or low cut.
Pick your outfit wisely and dress to impress the interviewer, but remember, the focus should be on your profile not on your clothes!