What to Wear to an Interview
Your first impression is a lasting one, which means the decision as to whether or not you get a job could be made before you even utter a word. If you want to have a shot at landing the perfect position, here is some advice to follow regarding dressing for an interview.
Consider the Type of Business
You should generally dress for the position you are trying to land. The idea behind this is to have the hiring manager imagine you as part of the team. As such, it is important to have an idea how employees in a particular company typically dress. Much of this can be deducted from your research; however, the type of industry will give you a clue as well. Here are some examples:
Business Formal: Law offices, accounting firms, financial institutions, and major corporations tend to require business formal attire. This consists of a business suit with tie for men, or a jacket and skirt or slacks for women.
Business Casual: This type of dress is often seen in government agencies, retail businesses, and many office settings. Business casual attire includes dress slacks and a button-up shirt for men and women, or dress shirt with a knee-length or longer skirt for women. Alternatively, a sweater or polo shirt may be worn, depending upon the season.
Casual: Mechanics, plumbers, construction workers, and similar occupations may call for casual dress during the interview. Khaki, Chino, or corduroy pants, along with a short-sleeve polo or button-up shirt is typically sufficient. Even so, it is important not to be too casual, so leather shoes or boots are preferred over tennis shoes or sandals.
What not to Wear
When it comes to job interviews, there are a few rules that apply to every category of dress. For example, it is important for all applicants to be as conservative as possible; after all, you want to draw attention to your accomplishments and not your appearance. Keep these things in mind:
- Jewelry and accessories should be kept to a minimum. Remove all facial and tongue piercings aside from a single pair of small, ball-type earrings. Do not wear belts or scarves with an exceptional amount of “bling.”
- Avoid clingy or revealing clothing. Women’s skirts should come at least to the top of the knee.
- Do not wear sandals, flip-flops, or open-toe shoes to any job interview, regardless of occupation.
- Take off headphones, headsets, and Bluetooth earpieces before heading through a company’s front door.
- Women should ensure their makeup is as natural-looking as possible.
- Keep nails neatly trimmed, and avoid outlandish polish or designs.
- Hairstyles should be conservative, with no unusual highlights or cut-outs.
- Cover any offensive tattoos whenever possible.
Even with these rules, it can often be difficult to know whether or not you are dressed properly for your job interview. We recommend having someone else look over your outfit, not only to make sure that it is appropriate, but to check for stains, holes, missing buttons, or other defects you may have missed yourself.