10 Things to Consider When Dressing for Interview Success
Things to Consider When Dressing for Interview Success
We all know the age-old advice, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Dressing well is not only good work etiquette, but it’s also one way you can make a great first impression.
There are a lot of things going through your mind as you interview. How you look shouldn’t be one of them.
When you dress well, your confidence naturally increases, and you’ll be more comfortable showing your best self to the hiring manager.
Dressing for Interview Success
And truthfully, how you dress during an interview says a lot about you. Recruiters make split-second assumptions about people, even subconsciously. You want to make sure that your attire instantly projects an aura of professionalism, sophistication and trustworthiness.
This guide of 10 things to consider will help you dress for success as you decide what to wear to a job interview.
1 | Decide on the Appropriate Formality | Different industries have different dress codes, so the standard for a job interview in one location may be completely different elsewhere. That being said, it’s always best to slightly overdress for a job interview.
If the workplace is casual with jeans and t-shirts, dress up a little with a dark pair of slacks and button-down shirt or blouse. If it’s a formal office setting, then you should go with a suit and tie or nice dress.
We recommend choosing business casual at the least because you will always come across more professional than simply wearing everyday clothes. As a general rule, you should never wear sneakers, athletic wear or club clothes to an interview.
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2 | Understand What Business Attire Means | As we covered, the dress code in workplaces vary. However, even laidback offices tend to adhere to a slightly above-average standard for their workers. Business attire is clothing that ranges from business casual to business professional.
Business casual attire includes pencil skirts, slacks, trousers, button-down shirts, blouses, Oxfords, loafers, flats and leather shoes.
Business professional includes dark colors and gray variations of suits and dresses with straight cuts and clean lines. Heels, loafers and flats are acceptable, but minimal jewelry and styling should be done to the outfit itself.
3 | Think About What Makes You Feel Confident | When you want to feel good about how you look, what do you wear? Think about what colors, textures and cuts are most flattering and feel-good to you. Then, find ways to incorporate these elements into your interview outfit.
If your go-to style is pretty casual, there are still ways to dress it up and make it interview-appropriate. For example, you can draw color inspiration from your favorite graphic t-shirt as you pair your top with a pair of nice bottoms.
4 | If You’re in Doubt About Your Choice, Change It | During a job interview, your mind should be focused on presenting the best version of yourself to the hiring manager. The last thing you need is to be feeling self-conscious about your attire.
If you’re seriously doubting the outfit you’ve put together, find modifications that make you feel more confident.
It’s always good to have a backup plan. As you plan your interview ensemble, put together three different options, then choose the one that makes you feel your best.
5 | Look for Inspiration Online | Just Googling “business attire” will bring you thousands of results and visual examples of what people wear in workplaces.
Another great tip is to look up the actual company you’re interviewing for. They likely have pictures on social media or LinkedIn that show real employees in the office. You can see first-hand how they dress for a typical day on the job.
6 | Invest in Pieces That Make You Feel Powerful | It’s good to have a capsule wardrobe of several strong pieces you can combine in various ways. If you’re called in for follow-up interviews, you’ll already know what attire you can count on. Although these “power pieces” tend to cost more upfront, they are long-lasting and provide an emotional boost.
You’ll feel more confident around others in the workplace if you feel like you’re dressed for the job. Being underdressed can instantly make you feel inferior and out of place. With the right pieces, you’ll always be able to trust that your outfit matches a company’s dress code and others’ expectations.
7 | Wear the Right Shoes | Footwear during an interview should be casual, comfortable and professional. Avoid open toes, high heels or sneakers. Those who prefer a feminine style should opt for low heels in dark or neutral colors. Generally, black, dark brown and nude are the most office-appropriate colors.
While appearance is one factor to consider, comfort is another. You should be able to easily walk in your shoes without any noticeable struggle or pain. Wearing shoes that are uncomfortable just add to the natural stress of an interview.
8 | Go Easy on Accessories | A simple bracelet, thin necklace or watches are enough to complement a good interview outfit. Avoid any loud and large pieces that are distracting, as they appear out of touch and unprofessional. A nice belt can also add a finishing touch to your outfit.
During the interview, you want the attention to be on what you’re saying, not what you’re wearing, so any flashy pieces that steal the spotlight are best left at home.
9 | Take Care of Personal Grooming | What you wear is as important as what you look like. To appear put together and professional, pay extra attention to personal grooming. You may want to get a haircut and beard trim, tend to your nails and ensure you have a clean appearance for your interview.
10 | Keep an Extra Shirt and Pair of Pants in the Car | You’re driving to your interview drinking your morning cup of coffee, and suddenly, you hit a pothole. Your coffee, thankfully, stays in its cup, but just enough splashes out to leave a noticeable stain on your shirt.
Instead of having to run back home, risk being late or just hoping the interviewer doesn’t notice, have a spare change of clothes in your car.
You should have these pieces freshly laundered and ironed in garment bags. You can either hang them from a ceiling handle or lay them flat to prevent wrinkles.
Tips for Dressing for a Job Interview
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