Perhaps you were interested in moving to the UAE and settling in Dubai. You go through a list of career opportunities and the latest jobs in the Middle East and start sending out your resume. Then comes the wait.
Getting a call from a prospective employer is a step in the right direction. It shows that at least one of the companies you sent your application to is interested in what you have to offer. The interview is your chance to show them what skills you have and how you fit into their culture.
What you wear during the interview can make or break your chances of getting hired.
Much like your resume, your attire reinforces your career identity so take the time to plan for what you intend to wear. Here are a few tips to help ensure that you leave a good impression on the interviewer.
- Take note of the industry and the position
Not all interviews will require that you dress up in a suit or blazer. What you wear will depend on the type of job and the work environment.
For instance, if you are applying for a job in startup coffee shop or as factory staff, coming in dressed in full business attire won’t get you extra points from the interviewer. In such situations, you can wear a presentable buttoned-up top paired with dark jeans. On the other hand, if you are applying for a top managerial position, you may want to consider investing in a suit and tie.
If in doubt, call the individual who scheduled your interview or a member of the HR department for advice. Ask what people of the same position wear in that company. For the interview, choose an outfit that’s slightly more professional than what they wear on a regular work day.
- Consider the weather
What is considered presentable for an interview won’t change regardless of whether you choose to apply for a job in the Middle East or the Alps. However, you can get creative with the type of fabric used to make the clothes.
When going for an interview in warm tropical countries, invest in clothes made with lightweight, breathable fibre or cotton. These types of fabrics can help keep you cool even during the warmest months.
- Go for subtle colours and patterns
Interviews are not fashion shows. This is your chance to show off your skills and qualifications, not your sense of style. However, this does not mean you have to look drab or boring during your interview.
When it comes to business attire, solid neutral colours such as black, grey, dark navy blue and brown remain popular choices for suits and blazers. Clothes with subtle patterns such as pinstripes also work.
- Opt for a more subdued look
Even when it comes to part time or non-professional work, looking like a slob is not an excuse. Avoid going to your interview with long nails or loud makeup. Keep your hair neatly tied back or combed.
You can add interest to your attire by wearing a brightly-coloured scarf or tie. Don’t wear dangling earrings or lots of heavy jewellery to limit any distractions.
- Arrive early
Like any professional fashion model (even when you aren’t one), be punctual; even better, be early. Why stress yourself by rushing at the last minute?
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the office or interview area. This is especially important if you plan to work in the Middle East or other warm areas.
Arrive at least half an hour before your interview schedule. You can sit and wait at the lobby or inside your air-conditioned vehicle.
If you don’t have a car, you can hail a taxi. The goal here is to prevent you from arriving at your destination hot and sweating heavily. In the event that you need to walk or take public transportation, by arriving early, you have plenty of time to go to the restroom and freshen up.
By following these simple and practical fashion tips, you are sure to make a great impression at your interview. Don’t forget to thank your interviewer once the interview is done. This way, you leave a positive impact on your interviewer as well.
A recruitment professional with over twenty years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, David is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones.
In 2003, David set up Mackenzie Jones in the UK, growing the business across two offices in London and Birmingham. In 2005 David established Mackenzie Jones in Dubai to serve the Gulf region and neighbouring countries. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.