Dress to impress

  dress code
   A new financial year, new hiring targets and with companies scouring the market for fresh talent, it is time to dress to impress at those job interviews.

Post March 31, it’s time to climb another rung of the career ladder. But now that you’ve landed an interview for that ‘omigosh-I’ve-just-gotta-have-it’ job opportunity, it’s time for the big question.

What do you wear to the all-important meeting?

Here are a few pointers to help you nail the professional dress code. It starts with…

Grooming: Leap out of bed, drag on a tee that passes the smell-test and shove your feet in old, worn floaters? Sure, if you're joining your hostel buddies for the Holi celebrations at the university campus.

Whether you are a guy or a girl, en deshabille isn’t a good look for an interview.

Having a bath and wearing freshly washed, well-ironed clothes is the bare minimum. Up the ante with freshly-washed (but not wet) hair and a good cologne or perfume.

Girls, make sure you don’t go with chipped nail paint, or with your hair in a bath knot. The professional femme also needs to address epilation issues – that means no moustaches, ladies!

For dudes, a close shave or neatly-trimmed beard /moustache is a must. Downplay your colour palette. Arriving for a work interview looking like an explosion in a paint factory is a rookie mistake. Keep that ‘designer-inspired’ churidar-kurta in a mix of eye-watering colours for mall-hopping.

Stick with sober hues from one side of the colour wheel. Pair black, navy or charcoal with formal black shoes. If you're going with dark green, brown or khaki, go with brown or tan shoes. Shirts and tops should be in muted hues.

Think white, cream, dove-grey, beige or soft pastels. Saris in solid colours like maroon, black or navy with a small gold border are ideal interview-wear, as are stiffly-starched cotton saris in white, off-white or ecru.

Go formal: Corporate skirts or formal trousers in solid colours are ideal. For guys, shirts need to be full-sleeved and formal.

Girls have a little more wiggle-room, but stick to formal-looking tops. Remember, firms in conservative domains like finance frown on frilly shirts. Even casuals need to be strictly business casuals.

Chinos, plain t-shirts and moccasins are an acceptable alternative for ultra-casual workplaces like start-ups.

Jeans are best avoided, but if you must wear them, opt for black jeans. Oh, and backpacks are for backpackers. Carry a laptop case, a matching handbag or a briefcase.

If you want a job, showing up looking like you blend seamlessly into the workscape is half the battle won. Happy job-hunting!

What not to wear for an interview

 Sleeveless, backless, racer-back, low-cut or halter-tops

 Logo t-shirts, especially with ‘funny’ messages. HR may not share your sense of humour

 Anything sheer or see-through

 Glitter. Unless you're working at a nightclub

 Ripped jeans and skinny jeans

 Noisy jewellery for girls, gangsta gold chains for guys