Heard phrases like ‘dress to impress’ and ‘dress for success’ countless of times whenever you prepare for job interviews? These old sayings are always right.

First impressions are vital so you should aim not just to give a good impression but a great one. Appearances do matter. The first judgement someone has of you is based on how you look and what you are wearing. What you wear speaks volumes to your prospective employers. If you know what to wear to your job interview, you have already won half of the battle.

Do some research and check out the company culture. You may make a call to the company and ask about the required attire for the interview.

However, professional dressing is still the way to go for most job interviews. You do not have to spend a great deal of money just to look good for the interviewers.

For men, formal wear is pretty straightforward for a professional yet stylish look. Wear a well-fitting suit of solid colour, such as black, navy or dark grey, along with a long-sleeved collared shirt, either white or coordinated with the suit. Try to avoid wearing a singlet underneath your white shirt, as it shows through and it is not a tasteful sight.

Take effort to iron your shirt and pants for a wrinkle-free look that is pleasing to the eyes. You should also pay attention to your legs by putting on dark socks and well-polished conservative leather shoes.

Ensure that you have little or no jewellery. It is best to take out any facial studs if any. Just having ear studs is good enough. Do put on a conservative watch. A nice watch rounds out the outfit. You should have a neat, professional hairstyle and any facial hair should be well-groomed. Remember to go easy on aftershave or cologne. You never know if your interviewers might dislike or have allergies to your scent. Last but not least, buckle up with a classic belt and put on a tie.

Ties do not have to be boring. Avoid anything too flashy or bizarre prints at all cost. If you are donning a simple outfit, there is no harm in choosing a patterned tie to act as the centrepiece of the outfit.

As for the ladies, we know how big your wardrobes can be, but keep your choices simple for a job interview, unless you are in a creative industry. Always dress appropriately.

Like the men, you can don a suit of solid colours with a well-coordinated blouse. Your suit skirt should be long enough so you can sit down comfortably and not flash your thighs, which can be considered a naive move. Shorts, jeans and leggings are a no-no. Put on conservative and comfortable shoes like closed-toe pumps and short heels.

You should ensure there is limited jewellery on you. A conservative watch is fine. Do not make a ruckus during the interview with your arms full of bracelets or allow your interviewer’s attention to be on your dangling earrings instead of you. Comb up a professional hairdo and have neatly-groomed or nicely-manicured nails.

Last but not least, have light makeup and perfume. For a polished look, little makeup is better than none. Ensure no smoky eye makeup, glittery or super bright lip gloss, brightly coloured eyeshadow or tons of caked-on foundation. This is not a party or a date.

Ladies, keep your sexiness in check. Your employer does not need to know how attractive your figure is. Do not let your bra straps dangle, expose any undergarment, have any missing buttons or wear any miniskirts. In addition, low-cut or short blouses are to be put away. There is no need to show your distracting cleavage or belly.

Moreover, cover your tattoos which might be a distraction to your interviewers. Tattoos might sometimes be a determining factor as to whether you will land the job. Make sure there is no odour in your attire and abstain from smelling like smoke.

Prepare your clothes the night before to prevent any hurrying for your job interview the next day. Ensure your shoes are in tip-top condition as dirty shoes indicate that you do not pay close attention to details. One tiny detail can have a big impact when it comes to getting the job.

At the very last minute, right before the interview, make sure everything is in place. Check that your buttons are secured, collar pressed down, and men, make sure your fly is up.

Your attire is a compliment to the person you meet. If you want your interview to flop, then dress like a slob. Just like how the old saying goes: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

For more tips to ace your job interview, visit www.STJobs.sg .