Recruiting Tip: Interview Style

Throughout the years of recruiting, I’ve seen the “style” become more and more casual.  When interviewing for a job you have make sure you “look” the part of the job you are applying for.

It should go without saying that the interview is the first and only chance you’ll get to make a good impression. You may have all the qualifications in the world, but turn up looking scruffy and you’ll be headed for the exit instead of your new manager’s office. 

Psychologists estimate that just 7% of the impression you make at interview will be based on what you say. The rest will depend on how you said it and whether you looked like a convincing candidate. Dress for the job you aspire to and people will picture you in the role.

Keep it simple

In the service industry, it’s likely you’ll be wearing some sort of uniform, so it stands to reason that, even if you’re not expected to turn up to the interview in a suit, you should still dress smartly and professionally in something appropriate for the role.

But use your head: even if you’re going for a job as a chef, you’re still going to look a bit daft turning up in your whites — at least for the non-cooking stage.

Serious style

When choosing the colour of your outfit, aim for something clean and classic.

Go for one or two colours you would generally find in a uniform, e.g. black, navy or grey for your trousers or skirt with a white shirt or blouse. Avoid loud colours like orange or purple: you don’t want to sear your interviewer’s retinas with your violently-clashing colour scheme.

The fashion advice team at John Lewis Oxford Street says it’s wise to take a low key approach to looking ‘individual’ at work.

Their style guide for jobseekers advises candidates simply to add one interesting accessory (a brooch for women, for example, or a bright tie for men) to well-tailored clothes if they want to stand out from the crowd.

But remember:

Guys: while you might be remembered for wearing a crazy, unforgettable tie, it’s likely to be for the wrong reason. If you’re wearing a tie, then take it back to basics with one colour. Impress, don’t distress!

Girls: don’t go overboard by wearing your favourite party jewellery. Remember, in any job, you will be asked to keep your jewellery understated and to a minimum, so try to mimic this at interview.

Some other things to avoid:

  • Distinctive branding
  • Emblems and logos
  • Crazy patterns and bold stripes
  • Checks and tartans and florals
  • Cartoon imagery and jokey socks

And here are some more top tips from the image experts:

For the girls…

It pays to make-up: women who wear subtle makeup earn 23% more than women who go without, according to the Hamermesh-Biddle project. Makeup emphasizes eyes and mouth (the primary means of communication), but beware to avoid the rock chick look.

Don’t reveal flesh: according to the Azziz Corporation, 88% of people feel that it’s unacceptable to display a bare midriff in the workplace, making it less acceptable than visible tattoos (77%), body piercings (69%) and low-cut tops (64%).

Suits you: women have so many choices that they often shy away from the more formal suit. Suits can make a statement while remaining feminine.

For the guys…

Beard blunders: facial hair is not taboo anymore. One in three bosses now views stubble as acceptable in business, says Azziz. But concealing lips and mouth is still a barrier to communication. If you’re going for beard or stubble, you’ll need to spend more, not less, time on grooming.

Don’t be a schoolboy: badly-fitting clothes generally look like hand-me-downs.

And all the rest: don’t think you can get away with a stain on your tie, lunch in your teeth or smelling of cigarettes.

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    Chris Giles was very helpful throughout this whole process. First he helped me get my resume polished to send off, he was very patient with me during this. I was very busy with my job search and interviews, but he always made sure to follow up if I didn't get something back to him and was always patient with me. Once we had my resume updated he got it sent off and set up my interviews, he was very helpful in coaching me and making sure I was prepared for the interview. Chris was always there to answer any questions I had and touched base frequently as we were waiting to hear back about things certain things. If I hadn't heard back from one of the hiring departments he would contact them and I would hear from them later that day. Now after getting hired and starting the training program he checks in with me weekly to see how things are going and provides a listening ear if I need to vent about anything. He has been very encouraging and has helped me be more confident going through this hiring  process. Thank you Chris!   Charissa Hahn     Have a Hospitality Recruitment Specialist work for you for FREE Hospitality Recruiter Helps Find Me a Job!
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    Karl was the best asset in securing my new position. He was there coaching and teaching me every step of the way. I have been working in the food industry for 20+ years and this is the first time I have used a recruiter. I have been on both ends of the hiring process and Karl has helped to know what people are looking for and what I should be looking for when hiring new employees. I look forward to meeting Karl and shaking his hand. If needed I would seek Karl out again!         Mahmoud Elkhyati         Need help with your resume – Have a Recruitment Specialist help you for FREE       Hospitality Recruiter Can Help You Find a Job!
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    My interactions with Mr. Richard were professional. He was very accommodating to my wants in needs when it came to the company I was looking to become a part of. I had tried myself to obtain a position with this company, but I was not able to do so on my own. With Richard's help I was able to land the position.  He kept me in the loop when it came to every interview that I had from beginning to end and kept me very upbeat and positive about the experience. I believe this is how a head hunter or recruiter should perform when dealing with clients very professional and had integrity in everything that he did.     Albert Jones     Hospitality Recruitment matches YOUR skills with the perfect job Hospitality Recruitment Works!
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    Daniel was a great help to me on my job search. From the first time I was contacted by him I felt he was here not only to help the company find the right candidate but he was there to make sure I was right for the position.  Daniel is very persistent when he is working with you.  He knows that time is of the essence and he helps you adhere to a very strict timeline to be successful.  Daniel is there for you when you are feeling unsure and is always available to discuss just about anything.  He has a wealth of FOH & BOH knowledge and that really put me at ease because I have not met many recruiters with FOH & BOH experience. Talking to someone who has been where you have been really puts you at ease!  I am very appreciative that I had the chance to work with Daniel on this occasion.  I am thankful he was understanding, attentive, communicative, and seems to generally care about you as a person and a perspective candidate! Katherine Woods         Career Coaches that help you for FREE Hospitality Recruiters Are Here to Help