Dressing appropriately for your job interview is essential for landing your dream job. You must know what to wear to a job interview to avoid making the wrong impression and missing out on the opportunity of your life.
As with most interviews, the point is to stand out in a good way. Though you must be well-dressed, you don’t want to cross the line into dressing too provocatively. If done correctly, your wardrobe can be an advantage and help make you memorable.
Here are some ideas on how to dress for a job interview.
Know the company culture
If you’ve done your research and know what type of business the company is and how they present themselves, this should be easy. For example, if you’re interviewing at a casual tech startup with bean bags in their office, then jeans and a t-shirt or other mini dresses for women would be appropriate. On the other hand, if it’s a law firm or bank with a strict dress code, make sure you’re wearing business attire.
Dress one level above what’s expected
In a professional environment, it’s best to dress one level above what’s expected. For example, if the job description says “business casual,” go with a suit. This shows that you’re serious about the position and that you take the company seriously.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider wearing something unique and different from what everyone else is wearing. For example, if everyone else is wearing a short skirt but you want to wear a going-out dress or another type of skirt, do it! Just make sure it’s appropriate for the occasion and style of business in question.
Impress with your hair, makeup, and nails
The first thing an interviewer sees is your hair and makeup, followed by your clothes and shoes. So even if you know how to answer every question perfectly, if you haven’t taken care of those details, it can still cost you the job.
Your hair should be neat and well-groomed, and your makeup should be professional (not too heavy). Nails should be manicured but not garish.
It’s best to err on the conservative side, but if you’re going for a more avant-garde look, make sure it’s appropriate for the industry or company you’re interviewing with.
Choose accessories wisely
Choose one or two accessories that make a statement about who you are as a person, but don’t overdo it. Avoid wearing too many bracelets, hats, necklaces, etc.
You want to look polished and put together, but avoid overdoing it with jewelry or other accessories. Avoid anything that could distract from your face — big earrings, big necklaces — because it draws attention away from your face and voice, which is what they’re looking for most during an interview.
Keep it simple. One ring on each hand is plenty — and that includes earrings, too.
Keep it classic. Stick with silver or gold jewelry, and make sure it’s in good condition (no scratches). And avoid anything too trendy (like chunky plastic bangles) or too expensive (like diamond-encrusted Rolexes).
Pack on the confidence — not the perfume
The first thing people notice about you is your body language and how you carry yourself. Make sure it exudes confidence and professionalism, even if you’re feeling nervous inside. That means standing up straight and letting your shoulders relax instead of hunching them forward or folding them inwards. It also means smiling at people, even if you don’t feel like it, because it makes you look friendly and approachable.
Avoid wearing too many colors
When it comes to color, it’s best to avoid wearing too many colors or patterns at once. For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing position, wearing red and green together will make you look like you’re trying too hard and won’t be taken seriously by your potential employer.
Neutral colors like black or navy blue are ideal because they can be worn with any other color without clashing with it or looking too busy.
Don’t wear clothing that is too revealing
Don’t wear clothing that is too revealing. You don’t have to wear a suit (although you can if you want), but make sure your top isn’t too low cut and your skirt isn’t too short. Even if the office dress code allows for more casual attire than you might be used to (like wearing solid pleated skirt), there’s no reason for it at an interview. It’s essential that you look professional from head to toe during the interview process — even if it’s just for an administrative assistant position where you’ll be sitting behind a desk all day.
As you can see, the interview process is an intricate one that involves both the applicant and the potential employer. Finding a balance between looking professional and wearing clothing that fits your personality can be a difficult task but is often a rewarding experience once you have made it through to the next round of interviews and received an offer from the corporation of your choice.