Good impression on a job interview

Good impression on a job interview

What to wear to an interview?

You need to remember, that there is no one outfit that suits to all of the interviews you go to. Before an interview you should always check what dress code applies to the company you selected. If you are not sure, you may call the Human Resources and simply ask.

Public institutions, state offices and banks prefer classics, whereas company, searching for creative employees will definitely appreciate originality of your outfit. However it is crucial to remember that even if you apply to a creative agency, when selecting you clothes you should above all be guided by a good taste.

Dress code

There are four basic dress codes:

Formal – is present usually in law and financial institutions, public institutions and in some of the corporations. These are the places where rigid canons still apply - women wear costumes in muted colors, whereas men wear dark suits. Required is classics, no extravagance.

Business – it is similar to the formal one, however it allows more freedom in choosing the clothes. What does it mean? Suits and costumes are not absolutely required, though recommended. Women may wear dresses, classic skirt, men in turn are not obliged to wear ties.  That kind of dress code may be usually observed in trade, as well as in universities and corporations. 

Casual – it is comfortable, but still smart and not overdrawn. It is allowed to freely compose outfits, as long as you keep in mind the basic principles of elegance. It is necessary to carefully combine the colours, skillfully select accessories, you also need to care about the quality of your clothes and their proper combinations. In corporation that kind of dress code is very often present on Fridays – so-called Casual Fridays. On these days it is allowed to wear dark jeans, corduroy or tweed trousers as well as some elegant sweater. 

Creative – it is often described as a different kind of the casual dress code, the difference is that in the creative one more freedom is allowed. Non-standard colour combinations and original tailoring are approved, provided that decency and class are maintained.  Appreciated when it comes to this style are also non-standard accessories, interesting, but nicely composed ornaments. It is especially welcome and valued in companies hiring creative people, for example in advertising agencies, design companies and in media…

When preparing an outfit for an interview it is important to follow the moderation and elegance. Keep in mind also the accessories. Dirty shoes will surely divert the attention even from the most elegant outfit, the same with mismatched accessories or not ironed shirt. Details are very important. Women should also focus on their bag – it should not be too big, or worn-out. Various accessories very often tell a lot about your taste and character.

Employers focus on details that may suggest your professional position, such as carefully done hairstyle, neat hands, and well-chosen and tailored suit or costume in particular.


White – Because whiteness is associated with cleanliness, class and elegance, it is advisable both for women and men. People wearing white shirts look especially favourably and professionally. However it is also important not to overuse that colour, hence it is better not to wear white monochrome uniform.

Navy blue – it is good to choose that colour for an important business meeting, including also an interview. Navy blue as a combination of blue and black is associated with peacefulness, gravity, but also with can-do spirit.

Blue – inspires trust. People, who like that colour are perceived as a calm, level-headed, but most of all inspire confidence. It is a perfect choice, if you are looking for a shirt, and you have no white one in your closet.

Brown – it is suitable for accessories. It also inspires trust, is a natural colour.

Grey – as a neutral colour, it may be used in business dress code, however using it in excess is not a good idea, because then we are perceived as featureless or indecisive persons, having nothing interesting to offer.

Violet - raises curiosity. The bright shade looks good on a shirt and dark on a jacket.

Green – the colour of nature, builds trust. You can choose green accessories.

Black – as a strong colour, it is associated with knowledge and power, it is popular in business. However you need to be very careful not to overuse that colour.

Formal clothes is the key to success!

  • your outfit should be elegant,
  • do not forget to take your smile and enthusiasm with you!

Body language during the interview

Body language is crucial during the interview. It affects the way the employer perceives you. The most important is to stay natural, and speak calmly.

  • greet everyone and smile,
  • try to have control over your gestures and posture,
  • when gesticulating, do not wave your hands,
  • avoid touching your nose and lips – it may look as if you were lying,
  • keep eye contact with the interviewer,
  • control your facial expressions
  • try to speak in a correct but natural way.

You must...

  • be punctual,
  • greet everyone in the room,
  • try to be calm,
  • listen carefully and fully answer the questions,
  • do not boast,
  • do not complain about your previous employers,
  • think over your financial expectations and be prepared to negotiate,
  • try not to overload the answers with superfluous information,
  • be prepared for a question about the reason you have decided to apply for this particular position,
  • switch off your cell phone!

9 cardinal sins...

It is advisable to pay attention to them. Even if you are perfectly prepared to the interview, any of the situations listed below may effectively prevent you from getting a job.

  • lying,
  • complaining about your previous employer,
  • chattering,
  • incomplete answers,
  • pretentious attitude,
  • lack of knowledge about the company or the position you are applying for,
  • improper dress code,
  • inappropriate behaviour,
  • switched on and ringing cell phone!

Frequently Asked Questions during the interview

  • What are your greatest achievements and which skills of yours helped you in constituting them?
  • Your biggest failures, did they teach you anything new?
  • Can you list three of your strong and weak points?
  • What can you do for our company, and what cannot be done by the other candidates?
  • What was the biggest problem that you have solved recently? How have you done it?
  • Is relocation possible in your case?
  • How long would you like to work for the company?
  • Do you prefer working on your own or in team?
  • What would you do if you found out that your company has been operating illegally?
  • How do you react when your boss tells you to do something you do not agree with?
  • Were you ever in a situation when you had to exceed the scope of your responsibilities? What did you do?
  • How do you cope with stress, working under pressure, risk? Give some examples.
  • What kind of salary would you prefer: stable or variable one that depends on commission?
  • Why do you consider yourself suitable for this position?
  • What is the goal you would set, if you got the job?
  • How quickly you can build your credibility in the team?
  • What kind of work would you (not) enjoy and why?
  • Do you have any hobbies?
  • After what period of time we will see the results of your work in our company?
  • What kind of people do you work best with? Describe these people.
  • How would you describe your former boss?
  • List your bigger concerns.
  • Who had the biggest impact on your professional life?
  • How would you describe the ideal company?
  • List the ideas that you would like to implement in real life, working in our company.

Creative questions

During the interview the recruitment team may ask you questions that seem strange at first. Sometimes these are standard IQ test questions, however they may be also questions that require creative answers. How to cope with them?

  • Keep calm, you know the answer for sure;
  • However if you do not know the answer, think a little and prepare some surprising answer.


Even if you do not know the answer to the question, important for employers is the ability to cope with difficult situations. Your witty answer, instead of the expected, may induce interest and result in additional points.


The employer should not ask you about your?

  • marital status,
  • children,
  • plans concerning your (future) family, private information that is irrelevant, e.g. sexual orientation, religion,
  • documents confirming that you are not registered in National Criminal Register, unless it is required by the law.

Questions you may ask the employer

  • What are the priorities that apply in the company and on the position you apply for?
  • Initial training at the position – how is it going to look like and who will be responsible for it?
  • What does the amount of remuneration depends on? What can you do to earn more?
  • Who are you going to cooperate with – is there a set group of contractors, customers?
  • What are your opportunities for promotion?

At the end of the job interview you may ask whether there are any other recruitment stages or when you can expect any information from the company.


Your potential employer should be the first person that shakes his hand.

First 20 seconds, first 20 words, first 20 gestures may be crucial in 80% of situations for your employment-to-be.

Remember! All the materials posted on the portal www.zielonalinia.gov.pl have been drawn up by the editorial group and are for your information. The editors have put a considerable effort to make the provided information accurate and reliable. However, the information does not constitute a binding interpretation of the law.