The Ultimate Guide on How to Dress for a Job Interview

Attire for an interview

A job interview you want to succeed in is coming up soon. You have completed the phone interview and you are now invited for a face-to-face conversation at the company’s headquarters. You have finished your interview preparation but something is still missing. What exactly should you wear?

First impressions matter a lot, especially during job interviews. More specifically, 55% of the first opinions others form about us arise from our appearance and the behavior we exhibit upon entering a place. This is why it’s critical to dress in a way that shows confidence and credibility.

Here, we have gathered some useful tips to help you choose the best clothes for your next interview.

 

Tips on what to wear during a job interview

1. Learn the company’s dress code

Every company has a dress code, which relates to the business type and culture. A corporate environment usually requires a more official and conservative attire compared to a start-up. The business sector you operate in plays a massive role, too. You can find out more about this in the next section.

So first off, to learn the dress code of the company you’re interviewing for, you can check the company’s website or social media. They usually share pictures of their employees at work so you can get a sneak preview of what they wear in the office for inspiration. If you still feel concerned, you can also reach out to the company’s HR department for clarifications.

 

2. Select the appropriate attire

In general, there are two main attire categories to consider based on the business type: the corporate (e.g. Law, Finance, Consultancy) and the business casual (e.g. Technology, Education). The first is more official and the latter more relaxed but still professional. 

Overall, with a business casual look, you can be more creative with your choices than with a corporate look. To help you out, we have selected some indicative recommendations below:

The corporate interview

Women’s attire – A suit or a blouse, with combined trousers or skirt, a briefcase or portfolio, closed-toe shoes, simple accessories

Men’s attire – A suit with a long-sleeved shirt and coordinated trousers, leather belt and shoes, tie or briefcase if needed 

The business casual interview

Women’s attire – A blouse or shirt with skirt or trousers, a maxi-dress, closed-toed shoes, plain accessories 

Men’s attire – A shirt with trousers and combined closed-toed shoes

In all cases, if you need a cardigan or coat, choose a neat piece with neutral colors. It’s best to avoid wearing jeans on an interview unless you learn from HR that it’s a recommended option for the company.

 

3. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes

Before you pick your final look, make sure that your clothes are comfortable. For example, avoid tight clothes that may constrain you. Instead, select items that are easy to wear and make you feel radiant and confident.

In any case, it’s vital to stay true to yourself. If you feel uncomfortable with your clothes, the interviewer may sense that discomfort. There is no need to wear high heels or a tie if it feels unnatural to you. Choose the closest available option from the suggestions above that you find agreeable.

 

4. Go for neutral colors and minimal patterns

The safest colors to wear on the interview day are neutral, such as blue, brown, grey or black. Avoid dressing up with bright and colorful clothes like red or orange as they may distract your interviewers. Besides, they can look more aggressive compared with neutral colors. 

The same is with clothing patterns. There is no need to add extra noise and take your interviewer’s attention away from what matters. Choose a minimal and simple style and attract your interviewer mainly with your attitude and skills.

 

5. Make sure your clothes are neat

Before you head off to the interview center, ensure that your clothes look fresh and clean. Look for wear and tear as this could make a bad impression on the interviewer. Do not forget to iron your clothes to remove wrinkles.

Remember, for corporate interviews prime appearance is key. Look for the extra details to entice your potential future employer. For instance, polish your shoes and belt, and pick your finest accessories to stand out.

 

6. Avoid revealing and extreme looks

To create a balanced style for your interview day, it’s important to avoid wearing clothes that reveal too much skin, as it could look unprofessional to many. In fact, extreme piercing and big tattoos are still considered to be a red flag for some people, so it’s best to hide them for this occasion.

However, if you believe that all these make you feel authentic and that a more conservative look would restrain you, again, stay true to who you are. However, be prepared that for many employers a refined and simple style is non-negotiable.

 

7. Mind your hairstyle and perfume

Last but not least, your hairstyle also plays a huge part in the first impression. In most cases, a clean and groomed hairstyle is enough, and you don’t need any fancy additions.  Moreover, we would like to point out that it is essential to assess your target audience and be prepared accordingly. For example, in a corporate environment colorful hair may not be highly appreciated. So it’s up to you to decide the level of change you are willing to make in your style for a new role.

And of course, your perfume could steal the scene as well. Choose a refreshing and distinctive perfume but don’t overdo it. It could become unpleasant for your interviewer and bring reverse results.

 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, as you may understand, the business type and sector can have a huge impact on how you should dress for your interview. Follow the rules of your specific industry and choose neat clothes that make you feel confident. Remember, it’s important to feel comfortable in the clothes you wear, otherwise, people will probably receive your mixed feelings. 

However, keep in mind that wearing the right clothes is not your only asset. What will win your interviewers at the end of the day is your skillset, your attitude, and your ethos. Your style is just one of the tools that could impress them, but not the biggest. So prepare for the interview first, dress for success, and your dream job could be yours soon!

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