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What should I wear to meet a client?

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Friday 26th May, 2017

While working as a limited company contractor, it's likely that you'll spend most of your time working by yourself in your home office or with others in a similar situation to yourself in a co-working hub.

But there are times when you'll need to meet your clients, either for an interview to decide whether they want to work with you or perhaps when getting a brief for a new assignment. If you usually spend your working days dressed casually and comfortably, knowing what to wear to make the best impression possible can be a challenge.

Of course, if you're going to be demonstrating your skills in a practical way during the interview or meeting and require specific safety or protective gear in order to do so, this is what you should wear.

However, if you're meeting a client or prospective client in a more formal capacity, then business smart dress will help you to make a good first impression, showing that you take pride in your appearance and are a professional.

Research carried out by recruitment site Monster in 2014 looked at just how important first impressions are, finding that 73 per cent of interviewers quickly judge a job candidate on their personal appearance.

With this in mind, it's best to wear a smart jacket as part of a suit even if the weather is particularly warm and ask the interviewer if they mind you removing it once you've sat down. They will naturally allow you to and this will show that you're not taking too much of a casual approach to the role. If it is very hot, a tie won't be necessary, but a smart shirt should still be worn.

Remember the little details too, like polishing your shoes, making sure your nail varnish isn't chipped and that any facial hair is as neat as possible.

Following the release of Monster's 2014 research, organisational behaviour psychologist Corinne Sweet commented: "We should not underestimate how important first impressions are. Of course first impressions need to be backed up by performance, but getting your foot in the door and succeeding during the interview - or even just getting one - is the main challenge these days."

Monster's research also found that 96 per cent of interviewers quickly judge candidates based on their timekeeping, while 55 per cent make a judgement on a person's suitability for a role after assessing the strength of their handshake, showing that it's not just what you're wearing that counts when meeting clients.

Remember, it doesn't matter what you wear to do your job when you're working from home by yourself, but first impressions count for a lot when you're meeting face-to-face with clients.

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