The way you present yourself in an interview can have a huge impact on the outcome of the interview. Dressing inappropriately can be a one way ticket out of a good job opportunity.
Job interviews are stressful enough, with trying to determine how you will answer questions, what you’ll say and how you’ll say it. What to wear for an interview matters a lot too, since it has to impress the hiring manager and potential employee. All things considered, interviews are about showing yourself in the best light, and your outfit plays a big part in that.
The moment you step into the interview, you have already established a first impression on how you present yourself. Keep in mind that each company has its own dress code. How to dress for an interview might be very different from the dress code once you land the job.
Nevertheless, your interview outfit should be influenced by the knowledge you gained when researching the culture of the company, from the company’s website. This will make you stand out to the interviewer as you have clearly shown you can be a good fit. If you find pictures of staff in their work setting, you can also gather ideas around whether to settle for a formal, casual, or semi-formal look. Employers normally do not reveal any dress code details on their job adverts, as they want you to have the liberty of making your own judgments.
Regardless of whether you are applying for a role in a formal business setting, casual business environment or chasing after a hands-on labour position, these tips will assist you in picking the best outfit for the interview.
Since each company is different in what they classify as suitable work attire, here are a few hints to guarantee you dress for success every single time.
Tips on How to Dress for an Interview
Research the Company
How much do you know about the company? Study the company’s website and look for clues on how staff members dress for work and other standards that come with their attire. Look for photographs and videos showing employees in their work environment. This will give you an understanding of the organisation’s general vibe. Dress up and model yourself in front of a friend or a colleague who may work there to pick up some useful tips.
Avoid the Temptation to Overdress
It is advised that come the day of the interview, dress one level higher above what people at the company wear on an everyday basis. For example, if staff tend to wear semi-formal attire, then it is best to get out that suit you have not worn in a while. Just don’t overdo it with bold colours or loud accessories.
The Devil is in the Details
Look clean and polished. In other words, no creases, stains, ripped or illl-fitting outfits. Comb and brush your hair. Fix your teeth. Have a grooming kit for last minute touch-ups.
Keep it Simple
As much as you need to look dashing, you want the hiring manager to focus on you and not just your outfit. Have simple makeup, jewellery, and/or hairstyle. Avoid loud patterns, colours, and pieces that show too much skin. Shine by how you answer your questions during the interview. This doesn’t mean you will be plain and boring. Accessorise with a nice leather handbag or briefcase that can keep your certificates and folders comfortably. This shows that you are organised yet stylish.
Say No to Too Much Perfume
Once you’ve showered, shaved and applied an antiperspirant, refrain from the desire to bathe yourself in cologne. Too much perfume or cologne can distract the interviewer, some may even cause them to feel sick. You want to be remembered for your skills and abilities, not your scent.
Do a Dress Rehearsal
To prevent any wardrobe malfunctions, do a dress rehearsal a day before the interview. That way, you will have time to fix any missing buttons, iron that shirt and find out if the chosen outfit is the right fit. In addition, choose the right shoes for the interview. They should be comfortable and classy.
Understanding Dress Codes
It can be confusing understanding different terms as far as dress code is concerned. You may hear that the organization’s dress code is business professional. What about business casual? Or on the other hand, if an organization prefers casual, what is too casual? Here’s a cheat sheet to translating the absolute most basic office interview attire regulations:
Business professional: suits are the standard, in a business professional atmosphere. Ladies may dress in a skirt and heelsh. Men may dress in an overcoat, suit coat, traditional shirt, a tie, suit pants and leather shoes.
Business casual: when interviewing at a business casual company, it is best you ditch the suit. Men may dress chinos or slacks, a belt, a traditional polo shirt, and comfortable shoes. Ladies should seriously think of dressing a blouse with a skirt or pair of jeans or a dress, and boots.
Casual: It is important to look professional and clean even when the interview is in a casual setting. Spare the pants and flip-flops for when you get the job. A pair of khaki jeans, long-sleeved dress shirt and comfortable shoes may be the ideal style for men. As for the ladies, a collared blouse with pants, pencil skirt or a work dress will be okay.
Keeping It All Together
By the end of the day, you want to be the last man standing, having impressed the hiring manager. That first impression will direct you to that path. This opportunity is not a chance for you to showcase your personal style. Yes, it is okay to be yourself but cover up any visible tattoos, loud nail polish or hidden vintage wear. This might cost you so rather go conservative. You can be yourself later after they’ve hired you and have seen how great you are.
Don’t forget to dress as if you have the job you are being interviewed for.