Dress for Success – Land your first PACS or IT Job
Going for an interview is a nerve-wracking experience. First impressions matter. While you’ll spend days perfecting your CV and memorizing your answers to the most common interview questions, you might be missing one of the most important elements. Your outfit.
What you wear will form that all-important first impression. Get it right, and you’ll instantly start ticking boxes. Get it wrong, and your interviewer could be questioning how suitable you are for the role. Whether you’re applying for a junior IT support position or an executive-level role, you want to put your best foot forward.
Learning how to dress appropriately for an in-person interview is a life skill. You want to show your interviewer that you’re a professional that they can trust to be a positive reflection of their organization.
What you’ll wear to an in-person interview isn’t too different from dressing for a virtual interview. Your appearance is just as important – whether it’s face-to-face or over a webcam.
We’re sharing our top tips on how to dress appropriately for an in-person interview to help you land your dream role in healthcare IT.
1. Find Out the Dress Code
Part of an in-person interview is to see if you fit into the company culture. While most companies will have a business casual dress code, you want to do your research ahead of time. Start-ups tend to have a more laid back look, while established industry leaders expect formal workwear.
When in doubt, business casual is always the best choice. A versatile choice for women is high-waisted trousers or a pencil skirt with a blouse. For men, dress slacks and a button-up shirt with a tie.
One of the best workwear staples you can invest in is a black blazer. You can pick up a business casual blazer on Amazon for under $50. They’re also a great choice for a capsule closet. If you want to invest in your workwear, check out the Carissa Wool-Blend Blazer from Theory.
2. Keep Your Shoes Smart
Did you know that shoes are one of the first things you notice about people? You can tell a lot about someone by the shoes that they wear. Keep your footwear smart and sensible for an in-person interview. Stick to neutral tones and avoid wearing shoes that are too loud or overpowering.
Oxford shoes are a classic choice for men, while women will usually wear patent leather flats or short nude heels. You want shoes that you are comfortable walking in and that elevate your look. Open-toe shoes are considered inappropriate for wearing at the office, including for interviews.
You don’t have to break the bank to buy interview appropriate shoes. Amazon sells Mofri Men’s Oxford Shoes for less than $50, while Old Navy offers loafers for under $30. Keep your footwear simple, understated, and classic.
3. A Crisp Button-Up Shirt
When in doubt, wear a crisp button-up shirt. You’re guaranteed to make a good impression in a freshly ironed white shirt. While this look is minimalistic, it’s a workwear staple. You could style a Theory slim-fit shirt from Bloomingdales. Paired with black slacks and oxford shoes for a classic interview look.
For women, the styling opportunities are virtually endless. You can pair a long-sleeved shirt from Old Navy with a black pencil skirt and nude heels for a sophisticated interview outfit.
4. Avoid Wearing Bold Accessories
Your interview outfit should be professional without being distracting. You want to look like you’re right at home in the organization’s office. While you might be tempted to wear your best accessories, they can prove to be distracting and give the wrong impression.
Remove any body piercing and try to cover tattoos with makeup or clothing. Generally, you want to keep your jewelry as minimalistic as possible. A nice watch can create a great first impression, and classic jewelry like pearls or a simple gold chain are also appropriate.
The Daniel Wellington ‘Classic St. Mawes’ watch is an example of a traditional style that is the perfect plus one for an in-person interview. Keep your accessories to one or two pieces, using them to show your personality without making too big of a statement.
5. Stick to Neutral Colors
While you might be tempted to wear your favorite print for good luck, it’s always best to stick to neutral colors. They look more professional, and they can help elevate a more simplistic outfit. Choosing neutral shades can also make it easier to mix and match different elements together – including your accessories.
A tan leather belt is something you can wear with a pencil dress or a three-piece suit. Amazon sells leather belts for under $20, while a designer belt from Bloomingdale’s can add a polished finish to your outfit. Choose a belt with a simplistic buckle for an understated look.
6. Don’t Forget Your Appearance
When it comes to dressing for a job interview, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about the outfit. The rest of your appearance is just as important. Take the time to run through your skincare routine to give your skin a healthy glow. If you’re wearing makeup, keep it looking as natural as possible, avoiding bold eye shadow or statement lip colors.
Most women choose to wear their hair up for a job interview, either in a ponytail or a low bun. For men, it’s worth booking in for a fresh cut the day before your interview to keep it as well-groomed as possible. A strong hairspray is an essential for your briefcase when heading to an interview.
The key to dressing appropriately for an in-person interview is to choose an outfit that fits into the company culture. While your outfit should get a seal of approval from your interviewer, it shouldn’t be distracting. A neutral color palette with classic workwear pieces and sensible footwear will always see on the right course.
7. Dress up for Remote Video Conferencing Interviews
In this day and age, video conferencing interviews are becoming more commonplace. Resist the urge to plop down on your couch with a graphic t-shirt for your interview. It is extremely important to make a strong first impression. Even during your remote video conference. As your lower body may not appear in the video frame, it’s reasonable to skip purchasing new pants or shoes. However, be sure to look your best where your interviewer can see you.
It’s worth remembering that an interview outfit doesn’t have to be expensive. Amazon and Old Navy sell budget workwear at an attainable price point to help you get ready for your next interview.
While prepping your answers and reviewing your CV is important, don’t forget that looks matter. Dressing appropriately for your interview will earn your credibility with your interviewer and give you an extra boost of confidence.
Disclaimer: Some suggestions for clothing were provided in links to Amazon and Bloomingdales. PACS Boot Camp is a participant in affiliate advertising designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to affiliated sites.