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The single worst thing you can wear to a job interview

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Job interviews can be one of the most stressful experiences, but wearing the right clothes is one guaranteed step towards clinching the deal.

Equally, wearing the wrong thing is one quick way to ensure you don’t progress further.

However, according to businesswoman and career mentor Amanda Rose, the wrong thing isn’t necessarily a pair of thongs or ripped jeans.

Instead, the worst thing you can wear to an interview is something you’re not comfortable in.

“They will know,” Rose said.

“You’ve got to look professional but you’ve also got to be you, and be comfortable. So the right fitting, the right size – whatever makes you feel confident.”

If you’re wearing the wrong size, the wrong colour or the wrong style, you’ll spend the whole interview feeling uncomfortable.

Rose said she believes that’s where the popularity of the classic black suit or dress came from: it can be comfortable and can also show personality through coloured shoes, jewellery or even a scarf or tie.

For other businesses with more relaxed dress codes, the same would go for the buttoned shirt and jeans combination.

And while it’s a good idea to dress in what you’re comfortable wearing, Rose cautioned against standing out too much – or for the wrong reasons.

“In some professions, you do need to have a suit or something along those lines… but what you do is you add your personality in other ways.”

But the key is to understand the sort of workplace you’d be heading into. If it’s a workplace where everyone is wearing jeans and brightly coloured shirts, wearing a black suit to an interview would also stand out.

“You do need to match where you’re going, but you add your personality in other ways.”

What about on Zoom?

Virtual interviews have become the norm as COVID-19 forces large swathes of the international workforce online.

The key lessons for online interviews are the same, although Rose said it’s important to remember to make an impact.

“What’s the background? Take advantage of your background,” Rose said.

“You want to show people the books that you read, you want to show people how organised your house is.”

She said Zoom will show only your upper body, so it’s a good idea to wear something that will make an impact while following the same rules for an in-person meeting.

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