9 November 2012
ASOS workwear dresses

As a follow up to the recent post on how men can make a great first impression at interview, let's not forget about us women out there. We are constantly scrutinised on the way we dress, and as shallow as it sounds interviews are no different. But there's no need to wear the latest trends as such; looking professional and well put together will give a positive first impression.

Research suggests that an employer will decide whether they want to hire someone or not within 12 seconds of meeting them. True or not, competition is tough and we often have less than an hour to prove ourselves. Looking the part could make all the difference to landing the job or getting through to the second stage at interview. Here are a few top tips to giving the right first impression:

Choose a versatile interview outfit.

You may have a few interviews lined up for jobs in different industries. If this is the case choose a simple, black or grey pencil dress. This can be dressed down with mid heeled ankle boots and a flash of colour for less formal interviews. For corporate interviews pair this with a smart tailored jacket and court shoes, keeping accessories to a minimum. If in doubt, always dress smart and opt for a professional office look.

Keep make-up and perfume natural.

It's worth considering where you will be interviewed - often in a small office. Be careful not to over-do it on the perfume. This can be overbearing, not to mention the risk of allergies. If you smoke, try to refrain until after your interview. Trying to cover up the smell of smoke with a few spritzes of perfume doesn't work, and this isn't how you want to be remembered. Make-up should also be kept natural, giving the impression that you're well groomed and professional.

Don't forget the small details.

There are a few details that can often be forgotten when your pre-interview nerves set in, and they can make a huge difference on the day. Remember to take an umbrella in case it rains. Ensure your hair and nails are neat and tidy, and that you have a smart folder to store your CV and notepad. Last but not least, smile, walk tall and give off confidence!

By Sarah Leeds, a marketing executive at a digital agency based in Leeds. Currently working on behalf of the ASOS dresses campaign; she has a keen interest in writing about fashion, beauty and lifestyle.