Not to sound very cliché, but first impression lasts way longer than your first sentence especially if you are going for a job interview. We all ask ourselves if our clothes really make a difference when we know for sure that we are the right candidate for the applied job.  The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’, since the first impression you make on the interviewer is going be an important factor in deciding whether or not you will get the job.

People often neglect their outlook when going for an interview, as they do not realize the importance of dressing and the overall outlook in impressing the interviewer. While there is no doubt that your qualification, skills and education are the primary assets that help in getting the required job, it is also true that the way you dress up for an interview will heavily affect your chances of getting the job.

When it comes to appearing for an important job interview, impeccable grooming is a must whether you are applying for a high level managerial post or an entry level position. In fact, your appearance can actually set the tone for the interview in the first few minutes and help the interviewer form an opinion about you, which can enhance or diminish your prospects of bagging the job. You want to demonstrate to your possible superior that you are a person who takes the interview process seriously and that you will be just as serious about your job. The best way to send this message is by showing up to the interview properly dressed up.

According to research, many interviewers make up their minds about you during the first 15 seconds of the meeting. While the job seekers prepare vehemently for the job interview, mastering their tactics, going through the prospective employer and what not, very few people know how to properly dress up for an interview. This is one of the most fatal mistakes a person can make when it comes to mishandling an interview.

Dos and Don’ts of dressing up for an interview

In the wake of the recession, the competition surrounding every job has increased manifolds and one cannot afford to lose points at any given facet. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that when you appear for an interview you are properly dressed and have made no fatal mistakes in that area.


The first thing that the interviewer is going to note about you when you enter the room is your dress. For an interview you have to dress professional, even if the company’s general dress code is casual.  You cannot show up in jeans and a T shirt and still hope to be taken seriously. Wear a proper suit in muted color tones such as black or grey. Do not choose to wear an odd color since you might end up looking ridiculous. Make sure that the clothes you wear to an interview have been freshly cleaned and are free of wrinkles. Nothing makes a worse impression than wearing an untidy or wrinkled suit to a job interview.  Make sure that you pick out which suit or dress you are going to wear to the interview and then get it ironed or dry cleaned, whatever the case may be. Also check to see that none of the shirt buttons are missing and no other repairs are needed. Get the suit ready to be worn, the night before the interview. If your suits are too outdated and are completely in contradiction with the current fashion trends, it is time to invest in a new suit. You have to keep in mind that the investment is totally worth it since it can help in boosting your career. You do not have to go out of the way and buy an expensive piece of clothing, just find something decent and stylish within your price range.


Make sure that the shoes that you wear are clean and traditional. Nothing can leave a worse impression than a person wearing dirty shoes to an interview. For women, wearing unprofessional and uneasy shoes gives the wrong signal. When you show up for a job interview, your entire persona should exude professionalism so that the employers get the right message. Wear comfortable yet stylish shoes since you are going to be working for 8 hours straight and your feet need to be the most comfortable.


Your hair should be freshly washed and neatly styled. Long, open and unruly hair leaves an unprofessional impression. For women, it is ideal to wear their hair up rather than leaving it down, men should trim the hair so that they give a neat and professional impression. It is advised that you give yourself a neat shave in order to create a positive impression on the interviewer.


While smelling good is always a plus, make sure that you do not drench yourself in cologne as it can have a detrimental effect. Wearing too much perfume creates an uneasy aura when you are sitting with the interviewer in a closed room. So, it is always better to keep a balanced approached when spraying on the perfume. Moreover make sure that you choose to use a subtle fragrance so that it does not irritate the interviewer.


When it comes to jewelry, simplicity is the way to go. Wearing a lot of ornaments makes you look unprofessional and is distracting for the interviewer. A simple watch and a small pair of earrings is enough. Wear anything else, and you risk ruining your first impression. Also it is better to simply avoid wearing any jewelry, rather than wearing low quality things that ruin your overall look.


While wearing makeup to an interview is essential, you have to be very careful regarding how to go about it. Apply minimum makeup since you do not want to show up looking like a fashion model. You have to appear practical in all aspects of your demeanor, so make sure that you apply make up to accentuate your basic features rather than completely going overboard.

Final check
When you are all dressed up and about to leave for the interview, make sure that you check yourself in the mirror from head to toe so that if something is amiss you can fix it before leaving.

Concluding thoughts
Scoring the perfect score in an interview is more than just having the right qualifications. Your personality, dressing sense, the way you talk and the level of confidence you exhibit during the interview, are all very important factors that help the interviewer in deciding your future. So make sure that you are fully prepared to make the best impression as soon as you enter the room. So dress to perfection to score some points with the interviewer right away. However, bear in mind that your dress alone will not do the job; you have to be well prepared and confident during the interview as well.