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10 Worst clothing mistakes(made by men and women) at job interviews 

Most people expect job interviews to be stressful occasions and yet candidates often make things even more difficult for themselves by wearing the wrong clothing.  Does it really matter what you wear to a job interview? Well yes it does,  because rightly or wrongly as you walk through the door of an organisation to attend an interview, you will be judged by your appearance even before you even say hello.  Of course for the majority of jobs, appearance is secondary to what a candidate has to offer, but do not underestimate how quickly positive or negative judgements  can  be formed and consciously or subconsciously affect your chances.

Having interviewed hundreds of people in my career I have listed the ten worst clothing mistakes that I have witnessed.
1. Garish clothing: Some people like bright clothing or heavily patterned clothing.  I’m not suggesting that candidates shouldn’t wear bright colours to a job interview – however it’s important that the interviewer concentrates on what’s being said, rather than being distracted by a brightly coloured garment or accessory.

2. Semi – transparent clothing: Usually the preserve of women, but not always. Bear in mind that if you have clothing that is semi-transparent or very thin, tattoos, piercings underwear may be visible.

3. Too short clothing: Skirts that are too short are the most obvious thing to mention first.  A skirt or dress may look fine when standing, but if they are too short and a candidate forgets to pay attention, can reveal top of stockings, spanx underwear etc… , when the candidate is seated. Get a trustworthy second opinion on skirt or dress length and try sitting down and getting up from different types of chairs.

However, it is not just the skirt/dress wearers who commit sartorial faux pas. Trousers on men or women that are too short look equally bad and give the impression that a candidate has forgotten they’ve grown and needed  to buy new clothing. Tops and shirts that are too short and slip out to reveal muffin tops are another no no.

4. Creased clothing : In this day and age with so much clothing available made of non creased fabrics – there really is no excuse for candidates  to turn up for a job interview in a garment that is creased.  Wear garments in non-creased fabric.  If you do wear a piece of clothing like a shirt that needs to be ironed, remember to iron all of it – not just the parts that are likely to show. You may find yourself in an overheated room where you need to take off a jacket.

5. New clothing: The first thing quite a number of candidates do when they have a job interview, is decide that they have nothing to wear and rush out to buy a new outfit.  Personally this is something I have always tried to do. However, if you do decide to buy something new do it with caution. New clothing can be stiff or uncomfortable and you may find yourself  moving awkwardly. If you do have to wear something new – make sure that you wear it at home several times before the interview day and move around in it.

6. Ill fitting clothing: Clothing that is too big, looks as unattractive as clothing that is too tight . Whether you have lost or gained weight, ill fitting clothing looks sloppy.  Shirt buttons that burst open revealing bare flesh is not a good look any more than wearing trousers or skirt with a waistband that slips and shows the top of a candidate’s underwear.  Believe me, I have seen this happen on many occasions.

7. Inappropriate clothing:  All too often people wear inappropriate clothing.  It’s not just some of the mistakes listed above, but some candidates wear entire outfits that are inappropriate eg turning up in casual clothing when more formal wear is expected. If you’re not sure what type of clothing is appropriate for the type of job interview you’re attending , don’t guess, find out.

8. New  footwear: Wearing a new pair of shoes that have not been worn in properly can spell disaster to a candidate at a job interview, especially if it is the type of interview where you are taken on a tour or have to be on your feet for a lot of the day. As the day wears on, sore feet and blisters can affect  your performance.

9. Poor footwear: Candidates are usually engrossed in answering questions or delivering a presentation that they forget that their shoes can be on show. Scuffed shoes, soles or heels that need mending, or shoes that don’t fit properly spoil an outfit.

10. Poor choice of accessories and/ or make-up. The list of possible errors that candidates make is endless, but include:  Distracting jewellery such as bangles that knock together every time the candidate move,  ties with cartoon characters, silly socks,  chipped nail varnish,  … Whatever accessories you choose to wear make sure that you wear the  accessories and they don’t wear you.

Posted by Aliona

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