Struggling to decide on an outfit for your upcoming job interview?
The first impression you make on a potential employer is incredibly important. When you first meet, employers will form an assessment based on how you carry yourself and what you're wearing. Regardless of the work environment, it's important to dress professionally and accordingly for a job interview. This will help guarantee that you make an awesome first impression.
Your appearance not only shows that you’re taking the opportunity seriously and that you'd fit in well within the corporate culture; it also communicates that you have respect for the interviewer. In general, the candidate wearing a suit and tie is going to make a much better impression than the candidate wearing scruffy jeans and a t-shirt.
It’s super important to check out the office attire prior to showing up for the interview. If everyone at the office is wearing shorts and a t-shirt and you arrive in a three-piece dark suit, you’ll be out of place and won’t fit in. What you want to do in the interview is to prove that you belong and can be part of the team.
Appearance affects hiring decisions and plays a major role in it. Hiring managers need to be able to visualize you in that position they are trying to fill. It’s okay to show off your personality through your clothes but you must remember to keep the etiquette of the position you are applying for in mind.
That said, different companies and industries do have varying expectations for what employees should wear. Here are some tips for what to wear to job interviews with different dress codes when you want to make the best first impression.
You should dress one notch above what you would normally consider suitable for work. And by that, we mean the job that you're interviewed for. If you're not sure what to wear, remember that you can't go wrong with a well-fitting suit. Go for neutral, dark colors like black, brown, grey and navy blue. A white dress shirt is always a good option and can be matched with any suit color.
Avoid mixing black and brown and always choose leather over suede. Little to no jewelry is best with a formal look. Accessorize a suit with a classic necktie, tie clip, and cufflinks. Avoid flashy colors and harsh patterns on ties that can distract the interviewer. The tie is supposed to complement the whole look, so it should be matched with the shirt as well as the suit. Socks should be black and neat and shoes polished.
Choose a three-piece or a classic suit and complement the look with a tie. You should always aim to be a little more overdressed for the interview compared to how you would be dressing if you already had the job. If your wardrobe is missing proper suit accessories, you can find them from here.
Some companies like to test your ability to interpret fashion etiquette by setting a business casual dress code. This dress code is the usual source of confusion for employees. And it's not their fault — there's not a clear, standardized definition for business casual.
Appropriate pieces for the business casual look are e.g. dress slacks or chinos, knit shirt or sweater, a shirt with or without a tie, a tailored blazer, dark socks, and dress shoes.
Note the "business" part of business casual, and leave your old comfy clothes at home; outfits should still be clean, pressed, and properly fitting. The idea is to maintain a professional, business-like image while enjoying the advantage of more casual and relaxed clothing. Even if your interviewer pops up in shorts or a short skirt, that doesn't mean it would be appropriate for you to dress like that.
The idea of business casual is to maintain a professional, business-like image while enjoying the advantage of more casual and relaxed clothing.
Casual attire is slightly less dressy than traditional business casual attire. Rather than showing up in a three-piece suit and dress shoes, go for something that is relaxed but still presentable: khakis, dress pants and a sweater, for example. For the office, jeans would go well with some nice shirt.
You can express your personality and spice up your casual outfit with some accessories. A nice ring or couple bracelets fits great but remember that less is more when it comes to accessorizing for any job interview.
You can also wear a pair of sneakers with a casual outfit. Just make sure that they are clean and not run-down.
Casual style gives you the benefit of wearing sneakers or shorter sleeves. The outfit should still be well-fitting and clean.
Startups have made the office dressing game more easy-going in the last years. While it's still necessary that you look clean, neat and professional, the definition of "professional" has changed over the years, since more startup-type jobs have a relaxed approach to office and attire. Because working at a startup often involves long days and impromptu or unforeseen tasks, startup casual clothing should be comfortable and practical.
Often startups are looking for an interesting guy, someone with whom it just clicks with and who seems like the right guy to fit the team. Therefore you might want to stand out from the crowd and express yourself a little through your clothing and accessories. It's really important to get to know the company beforehand so you know what kind of person they are looking for their team.
Nowadays there are so many startups and smaller companies, and depending on what's their business, you might even be best dressed in clean, well-fitting t-shirt, neat pair of jeans and a jacket. That might be a little too risky to pull off especially if you are not sure of the company's etiquette, so if you want to play it safe, add a blazer to the outfit or wear a knit shirt instead of a t-shirt.
Get to know the team you would be working with if you got the job, and decide what to wear based on that. Express yourself and your style with some nice accessories.
Main thing is that if you look great, you'll feel great and if you feel great, there will be a much higher chance of you storming your interview. Here are the most important points to help you nail an interview:
- When dressing for your interview, the best thing to remember is to wear something in which you feel most confident and your best. You will transmit a positive attitude and feel empowered, which may tell your potential employer that you are perfect for the job. And that can push you over the edge of your competition.
- When in doubt, choose to be slightly overdressed, rather than show up looking too casual.
- Whatever you decide to wear, we recommend you to start with a fairly safe, neutral-colored base and then add a sprinkle of your own personality with a well-chosen accessory.
- You should avoid anything that looks too casual or sloppy, which includes scuffed, older shoes, wrinkled shirts, sneakers, and ill-fitting attire.
- Make sure of your hygiene; carry a breath mint with you, do not skip shaving and make sure that your hairstyle is neat and preferably recently cut. If you wear cologne do it rather too lightly than too strong. Trim your nails.
- No matter of the attire of the workplace, all clothes should fit well and not have any stains.