Isn't it amazing how you can have a wardrobe filled with clothes to bursting, and still have nothing suitable to wear? Figuring out what to wear to an interview can be a daunting task. For many, a job interview can conjure more worry about thoughts as vague as what color to wear than worry about how one might potentially perform.
After all, creating a good first impression is all important; and wearing suitable clothes that 'fit in' will boost your confidence―always a plus. So put on your sweats and let's have a look through the contents of your wardrobe and figure how you dress up for the interview.
Attire for a Job Interview
It's important to remember that you're not only being judged by your qualifications when you show up for an interview―sad, but true. It's human nature to form an impression within the first few minutes (and recruiters as we all know, are all too human).
To be fair, the judgment on a given dress code helps them to figure out whether you'd fit into the work environment and culture. This is an important aspect of any job, irrespective of how well you're qualified.
The first rule to remember when you're figuring out what to wear to a job interview, is to get an idea of an existing dress code. If the interview has been set up by a consultant or an agency, feel free to ask for any information about suitable attire.
For caution, we'd suggest sticking to a smart casual dress code, and carrying some fall backs that will allow you to dress up or down depending on the situation. If that's leaving too much to chance, we'd say in the case of an interview, it's better to be overdressed than under-dressed (though being overdressed can make you feel very uncomfortable indeed).
Being formally dressed conveys a degree of respect for the job you're interviewing for, while being under dressed may convey a too casual attitude. When aiming to be suitably attired, following are some basic business formals that you can pick from when you're dressing for an interview.
- Solid color suit (pick dark blue, navy, or black)
- Conservative, coordinated tie
- White full-sleeved shirt
- Dark-colored socks
- Formal shoes, well shined
- No jewelry, save for a wedding band and/or watch
- Solid color conservative suit
- Coordinated blouse
- Comfortable, neat shoes―pick medium heeled shoes in a neutral color, or matched with the suit
- Light jewelry
- Tan hosiery
- Light makeup
If you need to carry documents or credentials, put them in a smart portfolio or a briefcase. Choose an understated, subtle perfume or aftershave, and keep hairstyles neat and orderly.
While it may not have anything to do directly with the job you're interviewing for, bear in mind that companies or job profiles requiring client contact or customer interaction will attach criteria to your attire and overall exterior persona. This is especially true for people looking for front-of-the-house jobs―in hotels and hospitality, for instance.
Even though fashion trends change with every season, bear in mind that professional work-wear remains more or less the same. Invest well in high quality clothing when you do shop for professional wear, they will stand you in good stead.
Ensure you find a good fit so that you don't have to tug at hemlines or necklines and you look and feel confident and at ease. Once you've figured out what to wear, put on your best smile and just go get 'em! Good Luck!