Formal interview? Not sure what to wear?
A guide to formal interview wear
When it comes to reaching the interview stage, first impressions are everything. What you decide to wear can set the tone straight away.
The sales industry can be very traditional when it comes to workwear, so dressing to impress is key for any sales interview. Your attire can definitely reflect your attention to detail and how seriously you’re taking the opportunity. In short, it could have an impact on your ability to get the job.
Not every industry has the same requirements when it comes to interview wear and the level of formality can depend on both the company and industry. More and more companies are taking a more relaxed approach to work dress to stay up to date and match their clients. You may also consider toning your formalwear down to fit in. However, when it comes to first impressions it’s always safest to start off leaning on the formal side of the spectrum, especially if you’re in a more traditional industry.
Don’t let a fashion mishap ruin your chances – we’ve got everything you need to help you choose the perfect outfit for your sales interview.
Do your research
Take a look at your day-to-day work wear, and take that to the next level. That’s what you should be looking to for your formal interview outfit. When you arrive on the day you’ll want to feel like you fit in, and you’ll want your interviewer to think so too. To help strike the right tone, you could do some research into the company to get an idea of their values and their position on dress code. But at the end of the day, when going for a sales interview a traditional suit will always be a winning choice.
Suits may not be a brave new fashion statement, but they are classic and stylish. A well-fitting, crisp suit immediately says professional, organised and business-like - which is exactly the message you want to convey.
Preparation is key to achieving that final pristine look. Don’t risk only trying on the outfit the morning of the interview or half an hour before you head out the door.
If you have the time, try it on a couple of days before. Inspect it well in advance so you have time to fix any problems if you need to. With this extra time you can take care of dry cleaning, scuffed shoes, any marks you didn’t know were there or alterations that may need making.
Look the part
A well-fitting suit shouldn’t be your only concern, you’ll want to be thinking about the whole effect, all the way down to your socks. Paying close attention to those finer details can make all of the difference to your overall look. When you’re putting together your formal interview dress, the best rules to follow are: stay tidy, clean and professional at all times. We’ve laid out some simple guidelines to help you put together the ideal interview outfit.
What to wear to an interview:
- Ensure all of your clothes are completely clean, pressed and without any lint or marks on them. Use a lint roller before you arrive to make sure you’re completely clear.
- Opt for dark colours in your suit, choosing from black, navy or grey.
- Avoid a garish tie with patterns or images on it. Instead go for something plain and preferably in a single colour. You don’t want a bright tie to be remembered over your sales ability.
- When it comes to your shirt - go for something plain and opt for long sleeves. Avoid rolling your sleeves up, even in summer, as a full length option with a cuff link will always look smarter.
- Steer clear of linen shirts or a linen suit as the material creases incredibly easily. Instead opt for a light, breathable, wrinkle-proof material so you look good and feel comfortable.
- Wear leather shoes rather than suede as they are a classic, smarter alternative.
- Take care to polish your shoes before you go for interview. Scuffs will look unprofessional and a shine will add a smart finishing touch.
- Finally, wear plain black socks. You don’t want to be distracted by a comical cartoon peeking out from your shoe.
- Opt for either a full suit or skirt suit when going for an interview in either black, navy or grey. As with men, interview clothes for women means keeping it simple to achieve a professional look.
- If you do decide on a skirt, the length should ideally be around the knee.
- When choosing a blouse a plain, non-patterned option is always a safe bet.
- Shoes should be polished, closed toe and at a sensible height.
If you look the part, you’ll feel the part and that can speak volumes. So don’t let a simple outfit mishap have an effect on the final result. Make the best possible impression from the word go with a winning sales interview outfit.
Formal interview? Not sure what to wear?
Wondering how life-changing a career in sales can be?
Since 1995, Pareto have had the pleasure of assessing, training and placing the highest calibre of graduate talent into leading businesses across the world. To celebrate on our 21st birthday, we gathered 21 of our brightest sales stars and honoured them with Great status....
Everything you need to know about asking competency-based interview questions
Finding the perfect person for the job isn’t...
Make an enquiry