You have your foot in the door with a great company and have scheduled an interview. You want to make a great impression, but as you look through your wardrobe, one question remains: “What do I wear?”
Now, before you run out and purchase an entirely new wardrobe just for the interview (Admit it. You were considering it). It’s important to take a moment to consider a few key points. Below are some great strategies on how to dress for an interview and land your dream job.
First, think about where you’re interviewing. How to dress for an interview is often defined by company culture. There is a general rule of thumb that dictates, when on an interview, your attire should be a level up from the company’s general dress code. For example, an interview with a casual startup warrants, at minimum, business casual clothing. Likewise, for an interview at a company with a business casual dress code, you should wear business professional attire. If you don’t know your interviewer’s dress code, take this as a perfect opportunity to research or inquire about it! Taking the initiative to ask a prospective employer questions will not negatively impact your job search.
With that being said, what is “business casual” exactly? Think khaki pants, dresses, slacks and skirts. Polo shirts, cotton shirts, and sweaters are all considered acceptable business casual tops with ties generally deemed as optional. Conversely, professional attire tends to take the form of a crisp, tailored suit for men and women alike.
Once you have an idea of how fancy you need to dress, now is the time to begin searching through your closet. It’s best practice to keep your staple interview pieces neutral. Navy blue and gray are great go-to colors when it comes to blazers, suits and skirts. A classic white shirt or blouse is always a safe bet. However, if you’re looking to make more of an impact, colored tops are viable options as long as they coordinate well and don’t clash with the rest of your outfit.
When it comes to footwear, leather shoes are preferable for men, whereas simple heels are a solid option for women. Regardless of your interview garb, the goal is to have the focus on YOU, and not your clothes. Hair should be neat and trim; with simple accessorizing.
Experts agree that the best approach is to stay with a more modern style. So, if your interview staples look more Austin Powers and less James Bond, it might be time to go shopping!
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re bringing an old stand-by out of the closet, remember to do some mirror tests (both standing and sitting) before heading out the door. This ensures that everything is perfectly in place prior to going into the interview.
Remember to keep these tips in mind for your next interview, and take the worry out of your wardrobe choices!