Knowing what to wear for a job interview is half the battle of the interview itself. The old adage could never be so true, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
When you’re going to a job interview, your appearance is extremely important. Whether or not you look professional or sloppy could play a huge role in whether your interview feels that you are suitable for the job.
When first deciding what to wear for a job interview, you should first take into consideration the culture of the company you are interviewing with, and dress accordingly. Are you interviewing with a company where the employees wear suits every day or do they wear t-shirts and jeans?
A suit is not always the best choice for a job interview. If you show up wearing a suit and tie and all the employees are wearing shorts and flip-flops, you will look out of place, feel uncomfortable, and may give off the wrong energy. The same is true of the opposite. If you show up wearing shorts and flip-flops to a company that wears professional attire, it could give the impression that you are not a good fit for the company.
The industry you are interviewing for should also be taken into consideration, as the dress code for an accounting firm is likely to be different from that of a construction company, for example.
If you want to get the job, your choice of what to wear for a job interview should match or be slightly dressier than the dress code of the company. For example, if the normal work attire of the company is business casual, it’s ok to wear a suit to impress. If the normal work attire is casual, it’s ok to wear a business casual outfit to impress as well.
After you decide whether a professional, business casual or casual outfit is most appropriate for your interview, here are some guidelines you may want to follow when deciding what to wear for your job interview.
The key is to wear clothing that you feel comfortable and look great in, while at the same time matching the corresponding dress code of the company. That way you’ll give off great energy and let your true personality shine through.
Make sure your clothes are clean and neatly ironed. Nothing gives away the lack of attention to detail more than wrinkled or dirty clothing. Select clothing that fits properly, as ill-fitting clothing can appear scruffy and you wearing clothes that fit will help you to feel comfortable and relax in your interview.
Good grooming and hygiene are essential, so make sure you have clean hair, fingernails, fresh breath, deodorant, etc. Hair should be styled in a neat but manageable style, as the last thing you want to be doing during the interview is stressing about your fancy new up-do coming unpinned, however, I recommend you keep it pulled back from your face. Men, if you have facial hair, be sure to give it a trim/comb through ahead of the interview, so that you look as neat and tidy as possible.
Perfume and aftershave should be used sparingly so that it is not overpowering and the same goes for makeup, which should be kept subtle. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, as it may become distracting and you’ll want the interviewer to pay attention to you, not your bling.
It’s good to show a bit of personality in your outfit choice, however, it is best to stick to block colors, rather than loud, busy prints. Don’t be afraid of going for a slightly brighter shade, as it can help you to stand out and appear more confident. Try to find a balance between smart and stylish.
Novelty ties and socks are best avoided. Yes, the interviewer will notice!
You can inject a bit of personality into your outfit with the accessories that you select, so if you’d rather play it safe with your outfit choice, why no pair it with a nice bag or pair of shoes?
Accessories should be kept smart, so if you are taking a bag with you, a smart satchel, briefcase or handbag would be the better option over a backpack.
Shoes should be clean and newish looking. Keep heels at a sensible height.