I still get this question – does it matter what I wear for interviews?


You’d think this question must be so old hat (pardon the pun) wouldn’t you? But it’s frequently posed to me & for those that it might help…here are my thoughts on it.

Some contentious & some not.

And there are NO hard & fast rules, but simply my overall observations.

Firstly – before anything…STOP & think about what you’ll wear. Please!!!

I’m not going to trot out the old chestnut about the 7 seconds to make an impression but I will tell you this: I sent a good chap to interview last week. When I met him he was smartly dressed, bright & seemed pin sharp. He was a great bet for this very customer facing property role. So, with my recommendation he went to see the employer the following day but my feedback was that he looked unprepared. Not focused. Disinterested. Simply due to a skewed tie, a very very creased shirt & no jacket to hide those creases! I wasn’t there for the interview but basically his shambolic appearance made the clients think he’d not thought about it, not come prepared & clearly wouldn’t impress potential customers.

He didn’t get the job. He could’ve done it. He didn’t get the opportunity. Distill it down, really….all through a scruffy shirt.

Remember: I’m not saying this result would’ve been my judgement…..it’s an interviewers prerogative to judge the candidates on whatever basis they do (yes I know – as long as it’s legal). But if you can’t look presentable in a client facing role, it’s clearly not going to go down well.

Some really basic middle of the road comments:

  • Iron clothes
  • Look ‘put together’ – try & exude an air of professionalism with what you wear
  • Though it might be hot weather, ladies, don’t go for a sandal. Not for interview.
  • No matter how basic your outfit….clean, pressed & sharp, not grubby will win the day
  • Nothing too short, too low & too tight!
  • Trousers or skirts – make no difference for women.
  • Men. Ties. Always. In my opinion……
  • Try & wear appropriate clothing for appropriate employers: simple example is it’s a Legal role at any level really, a professional suit always best. That goes for female & male.
  • If you’re wearing jeans you’d better know thats safe. I wouldn’t chance it.
  • WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU COMFORTABLE (bearing in mind the above caveats)

More than anything in these days of really tough competition at interview, you need to WOW the interviewers. Not just with skills but with your attitude & your mindset & rightly – or wrongly – that’s often reflected in the way you look & how you appear.

So get that iron out. It’s worth it!

I’m Roseanne Stockton. Chester SME Business Woman of 2013 & I successfully run Nu-Recruit.

I place permanent & temporary candidates of the very best quality into great local employers & jobs in Liverpool, Chester, Wirral & Manchester. In a no-fuss, no nonsense way.

And I love what I do. And I’m good at it!

Call me if you think my experience will help you get the best candidate for your job! And please feel free comment on my Blog…..



One response to “I still get this question – does it matter what I wear for interviews?”

  1. Mike Mansfield-Corbett says:

    Wise words well said. Even if you can’t afford a suit, present yourself in the best possible light, get the iron out, brush your hair, take out your piercings (visible ones that is), and sit up straight and pay attention. You will be successful. Oh, and by the way, a Klingon Commander’s battle dress does not count as a smart outfit

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