Grooming for a good first impression

Choosing the correct outfit is very important to make the right first impression in an interview, however no time spent shopping for the perfect suit or shoe will help if your grooming is not up to scratch.

How you wear your clothes says a lot about who you are. Below are some pointers for making sure that you are well-groomed for your interview.

  • Make sure your clothes are clean and freshly ironed.
  • Check that cuffs and hems are not dirty, frayed or scuffed.
  • Be careful with pants length. A good guide is, when standing, for your trousers to finish midway on your shoe at the front and at the top of the heel at the back.
  • If your suit hasn't been dry-cleaned in a while, have it dry cleaned in time for the interview.
  • Check that all your clothes fit. They shouldn't be too tight or too loose, both when standing and sitting. You need to feel comfortable in what you're wearing.
  • Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.
  • If you're wearing hosiery, check for ladders and pulls. It is worth taking a spare pair with you.
  • Pay attention to your hair. Does it need a trim or the colour updated? Is it clean, neat and tidy? If you have longer hair consider pulling it back.
  • Check your eyebrows (both men and women). Keep them trim and tidy.
  • Make sure your nails are clean and tidy. Brightly coloured nails or nail art may not be appropriate for the interview.
  • Go easy on the after shave / perfume.
  • If you wear glasses make sure they're clean.
  • Limit the amount of jewellery you wear. Go for classic rather than flashy. Try to avoid dangling earrings or clanking bracelets.
  • Make sure you have good breath. A quick clean of the teeth or breath mint before the interview may be useful. If you're a smoker try not to light up pre-interview.
  • Consider your posture. Don't slouch. Stand up straight and your clothes will look better on you. You'll also feel more confident.

Finally

It takes time and effort to put together a resume and responses to selection criteria. You should also put time and effort into how you prepare physically for the interview. First impressions do count.