Dress For the Job You Want: Exactly What to Wear to the Big Interview

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If you’re considering a career change in 2021 then you wouldn’t be alone. According to data from SEEK, 41% of Australians say they are likely to change jobs in 2021.

Some may even be entering the workforce for the first time after graduating school or uni, and if that’s you, then no doubt you may be feeling a little unsure of how the modern-day interview is conducted.

During a job interview, it pays to read up on the company you’re applying to, prepare your answers to common interview questions, come prepared with some of your own, and take a moment of mindfulness beforehand to calm any nerves.

The last thing you’d likely want to worry about is whether your outfit will be considered professional, and so to help you keep your mind on what matters to help you nail the interview and secure that job offer, we’ve asked the experts for their help.

Nicole Adolphe is Head of Style at The Iconic. “First impressions, particularly when going for a job interview, count,” she told POPSUGAR Australia.

To make sure you place yourself in the best light possible, Adolphe has put together her top tips for nailing your interview look. 

Tip 1: Know your industry and do your research

Different companies will have different dress codes, and it may help you feel more confident in the look you’re putting together if you know a bit more about the workplace and the people who work there.

“Invest time in researching the industry, organisation and role you’re applying for. If it’s a corporate interview, make sure you keep your look to professional workwear, while for a creative interview you have leeway to show a bit more personality,” Adolphe said.

“Thanks to the internet, getting a feel for the style vibe of a potential employer is as easy as taking a quick peek through their LinkedIn page or Instagram account. Many organisations post employee pics in the workplace, giving an IRL guide to the current style aesthetic on how your potential future colleagues currently dress.”

Tip 2: Keep it professional

If you’re unsure, Adolphe said it’s always best to veer on the side of professional. Once you have the job, you can adapt your “work uniform” to be a little bit more in line with the vibe of that place.

“You’re there to make a good impression, so make sure your outfit does the same. Save your ripped jeans and scuffed trainers for the weekend and keep your look clean, polished and professional!”

Tip 3: Pick your kicks wisely

“Shoe choice is a major factor and often overlooked,” Adolphe said. “Wear the kicks for the job you want. Turning up in a pair of stilettos for a stylist assistant role isn’t practical when most days you’ll be lugging garment bags around.

“The same would apply to a corporate role. Rocking up in a pair of sneakers isn’t going to meet the mark if the expectation is a neat pump or simple loafer.”

Essentially, the shoe is the cherry on top of your look, and just because you’ll have your feet under the table does not mean they won’t be noticed.

Tip 4: Dress for Zoom

Many interviews today, particularly first-round chats, are being held over Zoom. While this helps somewhat to make you feel comfortable, your outfit should be as thought-out as if you were in the room with the hiring manager.

“Digital interviews are increasingly common and if your next interview is a video call it’s important to choose an outfit that works for the channel. My recommendation is to go for clean block colours when on Zoom, and test your frame beforehand so you can view what your potential future employer can see. Jewellery is also a great way to show some personality when on a video call.”

Tip 5: Be comfortable to be confident  

“Interviews can be stressful so it’s important you don’t add to that anxiety with uncomfortable shoes or a dress that is too tight,” said Adolphe.

She suggests pre-planning your outfit the evening before to ensure you’re not scrambling, and to “go for something that makes you feel comfortable and confident to channel your best and most empowered self!”

As she said, “The right outfit can really make the difference between nailing or flaking that interview.”

Below, Adolphe shares her favourite interview looks.

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