4 Interview Types and What to Wear for Them

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There are few things as daunting as walking into an interview; however, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you can walk in with confidence. Researching the company, having an accurate CV, practicing questions and answers with a friend and wearing the right clothes can make all the difference between being hired and thanked for your time.

Different Styles of Interviews

These days, there are many different ways to have an interview. It can be a telephone call, an informal conversation in a coffee shop, a face-to-face video chat on Skype, or a formal interview before a panel of interviewers.

Telephone interview

It might seem unusual to think about what you will wear for a telephone interview, but ensuring you are wearing working clothes will put you into a different mind-set. Putting on a shirt, tie and suit will change your psychological way of thinking and make you more business-minded for the interview. While you, the interviewee, will never know what the interviewer looks like and won’t see them until you walk into the meeting room on your first day, it still helps to keep that business-like mind set.

Informal Interviews

Rather than having an interview in stereotypical meeting rooms, more are being conducted in a coffee shop, away from the office. Walking into one of these dressed in a three-piece suit with a briefcase could be over the top. A smart and more casual approach could be the right solution. A pair of chinos or slacks, business casual shoes, a shirt and jacket would be more than appropriate for a coffee shop interview.

Video Chat Interviews

Instead of heading into an office or physically meeting with your interviewer, it is often quicker and cheaper to interview people on Skype. Dressing for Skype is surprisingly easy. Positioning the laptop or webcam so that it only shows your upper half will allow you to wear a pair of shorts and no-one will be any the wiser. A shirt and tie would be more than sufficient for a Skype interview and depending on the company you are talking to, the tie could be left off. It would be essential to ensure that you have turned off the TV and all music, and assure that you are in a room by yourself when you do conduct a Skype interview.

Formal Panel Interviews

These are the traditional interviews you think of the first time you hear the word “interview.” A panel of three or four people sit behind a long desk and you’re on the other side, battling to find the right answers to their questions. In this meeting-like environment, you would not want to walk in wearing jeans and a t-shirt. A two-piece suit would be the best approach, including a tie and shirt to match the suit, which should be clean and ironed.

When you sit down in front of the panel, you can unbutton your jacket, but you should not take it off. This would be too relaxed for a panel interview. If you are feeling too hot for the jacket, you can roll up your shirt sleeves under your jacket and leave the jacket unbuttoned at the front.

Sometimes wearing your favourite shirt, which you think makes you look slightly thinner, could be the difference between getting the job or not. It is the confidence which the shirt gives you that makes you seem to be a more appealing candidate.