So, you are getting ready for the first interview of your career? You probably practice scenarios in front of the mirror, with your friends or with your family. You go over each question and answer to sound professional and witty to secure the job you have always wanted. But wait, do your clothes match? They say “do not judge the book by its cover”, but in the corporate world, the cover is what we judge first. The cover is the selling point; it’s the first thing we see before we converse about your grades and education.

Let’s face it, your clothes speak for you, let them say ‘hey, I’m sharp, elegant, professional; now let’s get down to business’.

Looking perfect is a must for interviews whether in applying for a high or entry level position. The detail is an important quality sought by interviewers, and this quality is often reflected in your choice of clothing. This is also particularly important in a professional services organization such as Deloitte where client interaction is part of every workday. Formal attire and being presentable is part of the dress code, so what better way to show the interviewer that you fit in? In my point of view, stick to formal colors, nothing too flashy or distracting. Pay attention to the details as well, cut and clean nails, neatly styled hair and proper hygiene. Be well presentable.

Now that your first impression is taken care of, the second thing you need to dress is… an attitude. See, it’s not your clothing or grooming that is going to get you the job; that is only part of it. Being dressed and groomed well sets you up on a positive start with the interviewer, but if you want to start a career with a professional services firm, your attitude speaks loud. At the beginning of your career, you certainly will need to have the educational background to fit the job, but it is important to know that at this stage in your career the focus will be on developing competencies (skills, knowledge and behaviors) so you are not expected to a master of the craft at this stage. Also, working for a professional services firm can get stressful and will most likely require you to work long hours at different intervals. For those reasons, having a positive attitude that tells the interviewer that you can handle the hard work, you are eager to learn and develop your skills and as important can blend into the corporate culture is going to be the key to being invited onboard.

Focusing on your external appearance and your attitude will contribute to building confidence which will be picked up in the interview. So remember the “dress” properly for your next interview.

By Rawan Zainaty, Senior Manager, HR, Deloitte Middle East