HOW TO DRESS FOR A JOB INTERVIEW

What is the best outfit to wear to a job interview? 

The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you are interviewing with. 

You always need to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose depends on whether you're interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, at a casual start-up, or a temporary job.

 

Dressing appropriately is important, because the first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing.

Let’s say you’re going to an interview at a company where no one ever wears a suit – not even the CEO. 

Should you still dress formally for the occasion, or will you look out of place? 

And if you do decide to go for a more casual look, how can you make sure that you still appear professional and respectful?

 

Professional / Business Interview Attire

Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional or business attire.

You can also incorporate some modern style trends into your outfit. 

You should consider colour when selecting an interview outfit and avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that will distract the hiring manager.
 

When in Doubt, Dress Up a Little

Dress codes vary. 

For example, a tech start-up might frown on someone who dresses too formally, while a Fortune 500 company might frown on someone who dresses too casually. 

It is important to get a sense of the corporate culture before you go for the interview, to make sure that your attire is appropriate.

However, regardless of what everyone else at the company is wearing, it is essential to take particular care with your appearance during a job interview. The guy dressed in a nice plain shirt and tie, or a girl in a nice dress and low heels, will usually make a much better impression than the candidates dressed in jeans and flip-flops.

In any case, being well-groomed with clean, untattered clothes is always required. 

 

Men’s Interview Attire

The best interview outfits for men in the corporate world tend to be conservative. Men should always default to wearing a neat, tailored shirt and pants. All clothes should fit well and be free of stains. Other things to note are,

  • Corporate favoured solid colours such as navy, black, or dark gray or brown
  • Long-sleeved shirt that is white or plain colours and matching pants
  • Formal Leather belt & a tie that is not too funky
  • Dark socks and conservative leather shoes
  • Little or no jewellery
  • A formal watch
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Limited amount of aftershave – No overwhelming perfumes
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio 
  • If possible, cover your tattoos – if any

 

Women's Interview Attire

In general, interview fashion for women in corporate jobs is more complicated and varied than it is for men. 

The increased options make assembling an interview outfit a bit more challenging for women than for men. 

Women also need to consider interview accessories and choose an appropriate purse. The best interview bags are ones that are professional and large enough to fit a resume but are not flashy.

Here are the fundamental building blocks of what women should wear to a professional interview:

  • A neat fit dress that is not too trendy or flashy
  • Conservative shoes with no or low heels
  • Very limited jewellery
  • A formal watch
  • Professional hairstyle
  • Light makeup and a limited amount of perfume
  • Clean, neatly manicured nails
  • Portfolio
  • If possible, cover your tattoos – if any

 

What to Bring to the Interview?

In addition to getting ready for your interview the night before, also gather what you need to bring with you:

  • Interview location/directions
  • Contact name and number for the person you are meeting with
  • Your Identification
  • Notepad and pen
  • Extra copies of your resume
  • List of references (provide only if asked)
  • Laptop or tablet to showcase your work (depending on the job)
  • Breath mints with you to use before entering the building

You can bring your smartphone but make sure it is on mute and the camera-lens is covered during your interview. It avoids the risk of getting a distracting loud text alert or phone call mid-interview.

 

What Not to Bring to the Interview

There are some things you should not bring to a job interview:

  • Chewing Gum
  • Coffee or soda
  • If you wear a lot of jewellery, consider leaving some of it at home (earrings only is a good rule)

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

KNOW THE CORPORATE CULTURE BEFORE YOU INTERVIEW:

Traditional industries demand more corporate attire, while start-ups may find casuals comfortable.

 

KEEP IT CLEAN AND PRESSED:

No matter what you wear, make sure it looks new or well-tended. Skip tight fits, gym, or sportswear.

 

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GROOMING:

Keep your hair neat and any accessories or makeup understated.

 

REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE TRYING TO LET YOUR TALENT SHINE THROUGH:

The interviewer should remember your skills and experience, not your outfit.

 

 

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