Its been a long time since you needed to go for an interview as you have been in your last role for more than 10 years.
You have the time and the place confirmed but the big question you have in your mind is what to wear. In this article we have developed an easy acronym to help you Dress J.U.S.T right! By following the J.U.S.T Right principles we hope to minimize the stress you may experience as you prepare for your next interview.
J “JACKET ”
For executive roles, we recommend wearing a jacket. Jackets show respect for all organizations. They are versatile and create a good impression. There are a variety of styles leaving you with the choice of what to wear depending on the various industry. For example , in the financial industry you would be expected to be more formal with fairly neutral colours black or blue and nothing too flashy. In the media or technology industry a more casual cut and a bit more colour would be acceptable. In the luxury industry, more sophistication and class would be quite apt. Jackets are also gender neutral and go well with trousers, jeans, skirts and dresses. Lastly , given the SEA context, if you happen to be taking the interview outdoors and the weather is too hot , please do not feel obliged to keep the jacket on, your client will understand the conditions and will not judge you harshly if you choose to remove it.
U “UNIFORM or UNIQUE”
We all know that we are unique and special individuals and at times we are tempted prior to that first meeting to demonstrate this via our appearance. The truth is that most interviewers will spend very little time trying to assess the attributes of your personality or experience from your creative dressing and if anything can be distracting. Use your interview preparation time wisely by keeping to a simple uniform and standard outfit. Regular trouser and shirt, dress, skirt. Traditional costumes may be also an option when you meet up with government officials for example in Indonesia or Malaysia. However most international companies will require and expect western attire.
S “Play it SAFE”
Ask yourself what image do I want to present? All organizations would want you to present a professional image that ensures you minimize distractions. The interview is the first exposure that you will be judged on, so our advice is “Play it Safe!”. There are multiple blunders that often take place in this area. Common examples would be: new shoes or high heels that become uncomfortable, overdone make up, heavy perfume or cologne, deciding to have a cigarette or glass of wine just before the session. Please note that none of these in themselves are wrong, just in the context of not knowing your audience, the principle here is to be more cautious than on your average day.
In this day and age, our phones are almost a natural part of our dressing that we easily forget that we have them on us. Respect the time you have with the interviewer. Remember to switch your mobile to silent or off when you start your meeting. If you must take an urgent call, contract and agree upfront your times so that you can manage expectations for both parties. Ideally , keep it hidden in either your pocket or bag.
Follow the J.U.S.T. right tips and invest your time and energy in preparing your content for your interview. All the Best!