Dress For Success: What to Wear to An Interview

Dress For Success: What to Wear to An Interview

It's probably no secret that you should dress well for a job interview. But what does that mean? Even if you're a professional at doing job interviews, there's no one appropriate way to dress. So how do you know what to wear for an interview?

There is No Single Dress Code

It's impossible to say how you should dress for your interview because there's no one way to dress. Typically, the proper dress depends on the type of job you're applying for, as well as the company culture.

For instance, a bohemian start-up company in Silicon Valley might not want to hire someone who's wearing a stuffy suit. Instead, they'd rather hire someone who dresses nice, but more casually. Meanwhile, a professional organization may prefer to hire someone who is impeccably dressed in a formal suit.

Before your job interview, take some time to learn about the company and the position you're applying for. Think about how your employer might expect you to dress.

Avoid Dressing for the Job

If you're applying for a position as a stocker or truck loader, you probably have a very casual dress code for the work day. However, that doesn't mean you should wear sneakers and a tee shirt on the day of your interview. You're not dressing for the job; you're dressing to impress.

If you're not sure what to wear, keep in mind that formal is the way to go. A suit is always a safe bet, and make sure whatever you wear is ironed and clean.

What to Wear for a Corporate Interview

Without specifics, you might struggle to pick out an outfit for your interview. For a corporate interview, you should dress formally. Men should consider wearing a suit with a solid, dark color. Underneath the suit jacket, there should be a long sleeve white shirt or another shirt color that coordinated with the suit.

A plain leather belt and solid tie are also essential. While your clothing matters, your footwear is also important. To avoid being too bold, wear plain leather shoes. Use a portfolio or briefcase to carry your resume and any other necessary materials.

For women, picking an outfit is a little more challenging. You have the option of wearing a suit, or a dress or skirt. If you choose to wear a skirt or dress, you should wear pantyhose. You also need to consider whether you want to bring a purse or briefcase. If you bring a purse, make sure it's large enough to fit everything you need in it.

When picking an outfit, stick to dark colors. Make sure your top coordinates with your bottom and your shoes. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or cheap accessories.

What to Wear for a Casual Interview

If you're applying for a job at a more casual business, you don't need to wear formal attire. However, you do need to dress with care. To prevent being over or under-dressed for the occasion, ask the person who schedules the interview about the dress code. They can tell you what the interviewer expects you to wear.

That said, you still need to look professional. You can wear slacks but should avoid wearing jeans and sneakers. For a business casual appearance, wear nice shoes, khaki slacks, and a solid button-up shit. Whether you're male or female, this look will meet your interviewer's expectations.

If the interview is for a casual start-up, you can dress down even more. Jeans are acceptable, but they shouldn't have holes or rips in them. Your clothes need to be stylish, but still somewhat professional. Avoid showing too much skin or Wearing anything controversial. Even though the company might be casual, they still expect you to maintain a professional appearance.

The Importance of Grooming

Just as you need to pick your interview outfit with care, you should treat your grooming with care. If you have any facial hair, shave it the morning of your interview. Individuals who plan on wearing dresses or skirts may want to shave their legs. Although your interviewer might not notice these little details, you will. By grooming yourself well, you can boost your confidence.

Several days before your interview, get your hair cut. Doing so shows that you care about your appearance, and also boosts your own confidence. However, think twice before getting a new hair style. The last thing you need is a bad haircut before your interview.

Regardless of your gender, you may want to get a manicure. Believe it or not, your interviewer will notice your nails. A manicure keeps them looking great, and the experience could relax you. If you plan on wearing open-toed shoes, consider getting a pedicure as well.

Prepare in Advance

The key to dressing for success is preparing for the day of your interview. If you're not sure what to wear, give yourself a few weeks to pick an outfit. Make plans to go through your closet or to go shopping for a new outfit. Even though you think you know what to wear, try on the outfit. It might not fit the way you want it to fit, or be appropriate for the interview.

If you go shopping for an outfit, bring a friend or family member. Tell them all about the job interview and ask them to critique the outfits you try on. By having someone else weighing in on your look, you can make better decisions.

Once you have the perfect outfit, your job is only partially done. You need to remember to iron the clothing the night before your interview. If it's an afternoon appointment, save time to iron your apparel in the morning. The ideal outfit won't help you get hired if it's wrinkled.

Let Confidence Guide You

If you're confident in what you're wearing, you'll be confident during your interview. As important as it is to dress properly, it's just as important to dress confidently. Make sure you feel good in your clothing.

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