I know the workplace has gotten casual—so you don’t feel there is a need to get a suit. You have no use for a great looking and well-tailored outfit to interview in. Employers have lowered their expectations. This may all be true, but it’s no excuse to look like you just rolled out of bed. Show up overdressed, looking good, and feeling better. By dressing appropriately, you will feel more confident and set the tone for approaching your work. Being clean, smelling good, and having a good haircut is not optional. Being well dressed and well-groomed is essential.
If you’ve done all the work to get a face-to-face interview (or even a Zoom video conference) and fail to make a solid first impression, all your work was for nothing. You need to do everything you can to capitalize on the effort you put into getting in the door. That includes presenting your best self and creating a personal image of success, self-respect, and responsibility. You need your prospective employer to know that you will be someone they can count on to get the job done before talking to you. You have the power to tell them all they need to know just by looking at you.
Finally, while this isn’t directly related to dress or personal grooming, being personable is essential. Maintain good eye contact, use active listening, speak clearly and slowly, shake hands, and smile. If you are staring at your lap, mumbling, and sweating through your shirt, you will not make an excellent first impression.
If you’ve made it to a personal interview, the job is yours to lose. Do everything you can to leverage your best personal attributes and look your best. It’ll all pay off.