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Is There Still A Dress Code For Construction Interviews?
13th Oct 2015

Well, in a word, yes. There’s always some kind of dress code for interviews - and that’s to look as well-presented as you can, without sticking out like a sore thumb.

There is a saying often quoted that; ‘the way you do anything is the way you do everything’. In other words as human beings we demonstrate patterns in our life.

Imagine you are an interviewer sitting across the table from a candidate. The candidate walks in and their dress sense is totally off. What do you think the he or she might now be thinking about that candidate?
 
·         Did they read the brief properly about this role?
·         Do they really think we employ people who don’t present themselves well?
·         They have made a huge judgement error here so what else might they get wrong?
·         Are they serious about this role?
 
The key rule of dressing for interviews is that you should dress a level above the role you’re going for, without looking overdressed. In the construction industry, this means high-vis jackets and work boots are most definitely out- but so is that snazzy shiny Armani suit you’ve been hoping to get a second wear out of since you were forced to buy it for your brother’s wedding.
 
Does this mean I should wear a business suit?
 
 
 
 
It often does, yes - and this is certainly the way to go if you’re applying for an office-based role or as a senior executive or project manager. Dark colours, clean and ironed shirt, polished shoes- and you can’t really go wrong. Wear a tie- you can always take it off if it feels wrong when you enter the building.
 
What if I’m going for a job in a casual firm?
 
 
 
 
A suit probably might not be necessary in this case though crisp and considered dress sense is. It demonstrates you are serious about the role in question and understand the importance of effort and attitude.
 
No shorts, no un-tucked shirts, and no shirts with writing on them. (You may be surprised at how often candidates turn up like this. We stopped being surprised about it a while ago, but beg you not to make the same mistake.)
 
Women should wear a knee-length skirt or smart trousers, polished shoes and a blouse or collared shirt. Avoid short skirts, strappy tops. Though many women love high heels remember to wear your most practical pair. Depending on the organisation in question you might be wearing and walking in them for up to 12 hours that day.
 
Trust me your hiring manager isn’t checking to see if you are wearing the latest Jimmy Choos.  Excessive make-up and jewellery are best avoided- keep it simple and smart. Make sure any handbag you carry is in good condition and isn’t carrying your entire
life in it.
 
Personal hygiene and the s… word
 
It’s a given that you’ll give this area the attention it deserves. Here are a couple of points that often get missed.
 
It’s great to smell nice whether you are male or female only don’t go overboard. Using strong perfume or aftershave might not have the effect you want. Some people are allergic to certain smells and even more importantly they can have an emotional impact on people, both positive and negative.
 
 
 
 
Finally when it comes different smells and their impact. Many people smoke and many people don’t.

Remember the smell of nicotine on your clothes and your breath can be overpowering and let’s be blunt here for some people in a negative way. Be prepared.
 
Other interview dress tips             
                 
Please don’t forget to iron your clothes and polish your shoes: attention to detail in interview dress is everything.
 
If you have even the slightest stain or tiny hole in your shirt or trousers, buy a new one. You may think the interviewer will never notice (and you might be right), but you will know it’s there, and you will feel ever-so-slightly less confident as a result.
 
If you’re still in any doubt, remember that your recruiter (yes, that’s us) will have inside information on the culture of the organisation, so we can give you some advice on the interview dress code.
 
Best regards,
 
Chris