Dress to impress: What to wear for that all-important interview

When you are going in for an interview for hospitality jobs, or initially meeting the boss for the first time, you want to make both a good and lasting impression. It is obvious that you have made a splash with your application and CV, so the last thing you would want is to tarnish your chances when they meet you in person. It will of course matter what you say at an interview, but it is how you say it that will ultimately convince employers.

The house style

Generally, you should go in dressed the way you would see yourself working in the role. This of course does not mean re-creating a uniform for yourself, but dressing professionally and appropriately is a given. You would never go into a hotel interview dressed as a bellboy, so use your common sense here.

Aim for a classic style and colour. Standard colours are black, grey, white and navy, and you should try and pick two of these. Try not to adopt crazy colours such as orange and green, but muted tones of these colours will be acceptable for ties. Essentially, you do not want a clashing of colours to become a distraction for whoever is interviewing you.

You will want to follow a low-key style, so avoid emblems, branding, zany patterns such as florals and tartans, and cartoon images. A nice accessory such as a tie or a brooch for women may even make you stand out from the other applicants.

It’s a man’s world

For men, it is important to always have a well-tailored, fitted and clean suit. Avoid crazy ties that will make you memorable for the wrong reasons, and stains on your shirt or tie will not go down well. Furthermore, general tips include making sure you do not smell of either alcohol or tobacco, whilst lunch in your teeth is simply unprofessional.

There is a debate over whether men should shave or not for an interview. Whilst beards are generally acceptable in today’s society, you should pay particular attention to grooming your stubble and ensure that your mouth or lips are not concealed by the fuzz.

I’m every woman

According to the Hamermesh-Biddle project, women who subtly wear make-up earn 23 per cent more than women who choose not to, so it may be worth considering this, but like with everything, do not go overboard with it. Main areas of communication such as your mouth and eyes should be paid particular attention to.

Remember to dress how it would be deemed appropriate in the workplace. Research from the Aziz Corporation has suggested that 88 per cent of people think that a bare midriff is inappropriate at work, 77 per cent believe that tattoos should not be made visible and 69 per cent think piercings should be taken out. Jewellery is dazzling but keep it at a minimum.

They say that ‘clothes make the man’. Nothing could ring truer when it comes to job interviews. Therefore, look the part and you may just nab the job.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with hospitality careers.