April 21, 2016

Dressing up for the M.Des admission interviews and beyond!

The M.Des admission interviews are right around the corner and all the candidates are preparing their portfolios, brushing up their knowledge of engineering and design, and booking their tickets for the IITs and NIDs where they desire to study for the next two or two-and-half years! But is anyone buying new clothes?

They say that the first impression lasts. So is the case for the M.Des admission interviews at IITs and NIDs. Imagine that you are conducting the interview. A candidate walks in wearing a pair of torn jeans, Metallica tee and flip-flops while another candidate walks in wearing a decent full sleeves shirt, a formal trouser and polished shoes, whom are you more likely to consider to be serious about the interviews? Though some people argue that this is an interview for design course, and you should go to interview like an artist, I feel that your portfolio is the right place to show your talents and not your wardrobe!

Coming to the main point, what should you be wearing for M.Des admission interviews?
The point of dressing well for the interview is that, your dress conveys that you have come for the interview and would take it seriously. It also conveys that you don’t have any affiliation towards a particular political party, a cult, a sect, etc. It means you would present yourself formally and serenely so that your answers would be based on well-thought design methods, rather than being influenced by someone or something. Finally, great clothing would boost your confidence and make you appear smart in the interview.

For men:

There are two broad dressing thoughts to appear at M.Des admission interviews at IITs and NID:

1. Completely formal dressing:
In this dressing thought, you would be wearing the kind of clothes, which you would wear for a job interview:
Formal shirt:
A well ironed shirt, preferably full sleeves, and of neutral colour like light blue, grey, navy blue, etc. Make sure that the shirt does not have any embroidery or patterns on it, which would make it appear to be non-formal. I would strongly suggest you to buy one right before going for the interview. The factory ironed, brand new shirt would make a great impression. Also make sure that you wear a shirt which is well fitting to your body and button up well. Also avoid a shirt with your company logo or name appearing prominently anywhere on it. Even if you work at Google, avoid wearing such a shirt which advertises your company.
Formal trouser: A well ironed trouser of solid colours such as charcoal grey, black, navy blue, etc. Some people consider light trousers such as that of beige or peach colour to be non-formal, so to be on the safe side, and best wear one that goes well with the shirt. Similar to the shirt, make sure that your trousers are well fitting and preferably not folded at the seams.
Belt: A formal trouser always is worn with a good leather belt. Avoid those cheap plastic leather belts at all costs! They would kill your appearance faster than you think! Also, while choosing a belt, make sure it goes well with the trouser. Finally don’t wear a belt with unreasonably large buckle. It would make you appear like a WWE wrestler at max!
Shoes: Plain office shoes with laces go great with the above outfit. Always get your shoes polished before appearing for the interviews. You can never go wrong with black leather shoes, though imitation leather shoes are fine as long as they are not too loud or having some fancy pattern on it. Avoid wearing safety or work shoes to interviews, since they might kill the image you are putting forth with your formal shirt and trousers
Suite: Suite is not really needed for M.Des admission interviews, but it won’t hurt much wearing the same. Remember that most of the interviews are carried out in months of summer and you might end up appearing for it in non-air-conditioned rooms. Suites might actually make you feel very uncomfortable and sweaty, which you must avoid at all cost for interview.  I feel that if you are determined to wear a suite to the interview, make sure that the suite is a formal one and not the one you would wear to a party!
Tie: similar to the suite, wearing a tie is not absolutely necessary. But if you feel empty without one, make sure it is a plain one or has a very light print. A tie pin would look great with a tie and hold the tie in place while you are talking.

2. Smart casuals
T-shirt: You can wear a t-shirt with collar and buttons near neck, referred often as ‘polo neck’. Make sure the t-shirt is either plain or has simple stripes on it. Similar to the tips about the shirt, make sure there is no loud pattern or prominent company logo on it. While wearing smart casuals, you need not tuck your t-shirt in the jeans.
Jeans: With t-shirt, you can wear a pair of simple, plain jeans. Again, the jeans should be well washed and not a dirty one. Also, avoid the torn or patched jeans that look great on streets but might put a wrong image during the interviews
Shoes: simple sports shoes or casual shoes are perfectly fine with t-shirts and jeans.

For ladies:

Formal shalwar-kameez: Nothing beats this formal attire. While selecting a formal shalwar-kameez for the interviews, make sure that it is a plain one or has only light pattern on it. Avoid the ones that are overly bold, has laces or embroidery patterns on it.
Jeans and top: Similar to the tips about dressing for men, you can wear a simple top with a pair of jeans.
Shoes/sandals: while sandals would look great with shalwar-kameez, avoid wearing the ones with heel or stilettos.
Light jewellery and make up is acceptable.

For both men and ladies:

Handkerchief: Make sure you carry a clean and well folded handkerchief with you. If you sneeze, you should use that. An alternative is disposable paper napkin. Make sure you carry it as a sense of manners.
Hair-style: Clean and well combed hair style is good enough for the interviews
Religious objects: Religious clothing and objects are alright to be worn or carried as long as you don’t overdo it. For example, a Sikh candidate can wear a turban since it is a religious obligation.
Dress watch: A decent, branded dress watch goes well and is accepted in such interviews.

We hope that with all these tips, you would feel confident during the interviews and present a great image of yourself.

All the best


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