Dress to Impress: How to Choose the Perfect Interview Outfit

Nice one! You got the interview! 

To nail the interview you know you need to accentuate the positives, minimise the impact of your negatives and, overall, impress the person sitting in front of you who could essentially change your life.

Not only do you need to think about what to say, you should also think about what you wear.  First impressions count, remember?  There’s only a couple of rules you need to remember about what to wear.  They are:

  • Accentuate the positives
  • Minimise the negatives
  • Dress to impress

Easier said that done?  If you’re trawling your brain as to what you can wear that easily does that, don’t worry. Let’s show you how to mentally review your wardrobe and try to piece together something that achieves all of the above. Here are tips to put together a killer interview outfit and dress to impress. If you follow these tips you’ll roll into any interview feeling like a boss.

Know Your Target Audience

Making sure you fit the mould of the company you are interviewing with is key to a stellar first impression. Does this company encourage casual dressing? Do people dress smartly? What’s the general vibe of the company?

A good way to find out is to look for some images of actual workers. Company social media pages or their About section on their company website can give you an idea of what they wear day-to-day. If you have been networking you might even know some of the company’s workers and what they wear in a professional sense. Remember, it’s better to dress up more than you need to rather than dress down.

If you are going for a job as a Retail Manager for a fashion brand you are probably going to want to wear something fashion forward. However, if you are going for an interview for a law firm as a paralegal, it might be best to pull out the pencil skirt and pumps.

dress to impress no matter what industry you want to work in

Know Your Professional Story

The interviewer is trying to understand whether or not you are a good cultural fit, who you are in the workplace and what your story is.

What story are you trying to tell with your outfit?

  • Creative – Pick something that is a talking piece (jewellery or top)
  • Professional – Stick to the classics (pencil skirts etc.)
  • Start-Up – Smart casual, jeans aren’t out of the question (but no rips!) 

Dress to Impress By Choosing Something That Suits You

Choosing clothes that suit your body type can be the difference between looking slovenly, tidy, or well put together. No matter if you’re meeting them in person or doing the interview over Skype, take the time to buy the right fit. Here are a few tips for different shapes:

Pear Shape

Plunging necklines paired with a boxy jacket, hemlines to just below the knee, bootcut or flare bottoms.

dress to impress with a pear shape

Apple Shape

Flowy tops, relaxed boyfriend button ups, v-neck, crop jackets, mini-length dresses, a-line styles, classic trouser fit or skinny leg bottoms.

dress to impress with an apple shape

Hourglass Shape

Form fitting, wrap tops, fit and flare dresses, jackets accentuating the waist, skinny leg bottoms or flare

dress to impress with an hourglass shape

Athletic or Rectangle Shape

Scoop and round necklines, flowy jackets (bombers), any style dress looks great just decide on the length, any bottoms, simply balance with the top choice

dress to impress with an athletic shape

Check Your Colour Story

Pay attention to your colour choice, it can convey a lot more meaning that you may want to. Bold and bright colours are a great choice as they play to your confidence and can be memorable (“How good was that girl in the pink dress!”), but clashing prints or too much contrasting colour may give off some warning signs for unreliability. Too much black can be overpowering and unintentionally dramatic, so it’s always good to break this up with some colour in your top or accessories to balance out your outfit. Some specific colours can portray you in a particular light so think about the story you are trying to tell:

  • Red is associated with passion but also anger
  • White can convey tidiness and attention to detail
  • Grey gives off an air of compassion, balance and can be quite calming

Final Tip

If you really want to dress to impress you need to wear your confidence – it’s your number one asset and is the key to nailing any interview. You got this!

NOTE: All clothing in this blog is available at Hear Us Roar.


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