First impressions happen quickly. That’s part of their nature. No wonder so many candidates agonize about their wardrobes headed into job interviews.

But how can you impress employers without emptying your bank account? After all, you’re looking for a job — you might not have a paycheck coming in. That leaves very little in your budget for a shopping spree.

There is a reason for concern. One study found that nearly 5% of hiring decisions happened within the first minute of meeting a candidate. Meanwhile, the same data set indicated that fully a quarter of the judgments came down within the first five minutes.

Making a good impression gets easier when you know you are a good match for the opportunity. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, will put you in touch with the perfect situations for your skills and background. Connecting with SmartTalent takes the pressure off your job search.

Still, it’s nice to walk into all your interview with confidence. To do that, you don’t need to obsess about your interview wardrobe. There are ways to dazzle potential employers without splurging on a bunch of new outfits. Here’s how to dress to impress without getting a whole new wardrobe:

Start with Good Grooming

Employers aren’t specifically interested in your clothes. Rather, they are looking for employees who carry themselves in an organized, professional way. Your wardrobe plays a part here, but what truly matters is your overall demeanor.

Along these lines, don’t get over-concerned about your clothes. Instead, focus on your general presentation. Impeccable grooming and attention to detail will get you further than an expensive wardrobe.

Any Clothes Should Be Clean and Ironed

Along the lines of perfecting your general presentation, get the most out of the clothes you have. Even if you don’t have a deep closet filled with the latest fashion, you can communicate your professionalism through your wardrobe.

Double-check for things like stains or frays for everything you wear. A clean, crisp, simple outfit will usually be enough to impress.

Learn the Company’s Expectations

There is no single definition of “well dressed.” What works in one industry might put you out of step in another. As such, it’s important to suit your presentation to the particular company. Research each potential employer’s expectations and do your best to match those standards.

Gathering information about a company is crucial for putting your best foot forward. SmartTalent can give you the insights you need to maximize your performance. Reach out to SmartTalent to get the support and guidance you need.

Find Clothes that Fit

Even more than the clothes themselves, it matters how they fit. If too tight or too loose, even expensive outfits can look unattractive.

The danger of ill-fitting clothes can be particularly acute for interview attire. After all, if you’ve been out of the job market for a while, you might not have needed to dress up for a work function. As such, try on your interview selections ahead of time to check that they still fit you.

Business-Appropriate Shoes

Don’t forget about your shoes. Your footwear should complement the overall presentation you are trying to make. As such, they should be attractive but still professional.

Also, keep comfort in mind. Job interviews can often include excursions, like tours of the headquarters. As such, be prepared to walk around as needed.

In addition, you might get kept waiting if previous interviews run late — a delay that could seem excruciating if you have the wrong shoes.

Tasteful Accessories

Don’t be afraid to add a little flair. Accessories, like jewelry or a dress watch, can display personality and make you more memorable. However, remember that it’s possible to go too far in this direction. Keep your accessory choices tasteful and professional.

How Much of Your Wardrobe Can You Recycle for Your Second Interview?

You probably only have a handful of interview-quality outfits. For your first interviews, you can use the same clothes each time. However, what happens if you get invited back for another round of discussions? It might seem embarrassing to show up in the same threads as the first conversation.

Still, don’t let this fear trick you into sinking a lot of money on a second-interview outfit. Rather, you can probably get away with a certain amount of recycling. A basic suit can be worn a second time — just choose a different color shirt or blouse. Another tie or a new secondary flourish can also disguise the rest of the reruns.

Finding ideal opportunities means taking much of the guessing game out of the interview process. SmartTalent can give you the support and guidance you need to discover the perfect job for you.

Contact SmartTalent today to take your job search to the next level.