Nonverbal cues are potent indicators of whether an interviewee will fit with the corporate culture, and one of the most obvious is attire. Want to make a good visual impression? Here’s what you need to know:
- Dress conservatively. That means no weird haircuts, loud colours, odd facial hair configurations or dangly jewellery, says Toronto recruiter Rick Richter. “You want the interviewer to focus on you, your energy level, your knowledge and your experience, not your dress,” he says.
- When in doubt, wear a suit. Only wear business casual clothes if you’re sure it’s the norm at the office. If not, it’s better to over-dress than under-dress. Neutral-coloured suits are a good option for both men and women.
- Wear clean clothes. No dirty boots, unpolished shoes, frayed cuffs, thin socks, holes or badly laundered items. These indicate a lack of attention to detail, which will make employers wary.
- Cover tattoos if you can. As for piercings, some recruiters say they’re always a no-no; others suggest that if you’re applying for a management position or you can’t resist fiddling with them, you might want to take them out.
- Don’t splash on the scent. You may share the workplace environment with people who are allergic to scents or the interviewer may simply not like the smell. Says Richter, “Fragrances are polarizing. People either love them or hate them, and if they hate them you’re in trouble.”
- Cover up. Gentlemen, nix the skin-tight shirt, and ladies, make sure your skirt isn’t too short or your cleavage a little too obvious.