So you polished your resume, crafted the perfect cover letter, and applied for a job that you’d really love to land. The good news is that they called you to request an interview! The bad news? You have no idea what to wear!
Not to worry. Learning how to dress for a job interview isn’t as complicated as you might think. We have some surefire tips that will help you dress to impress!
How to Dress for a Job Interview in 5 Easy Steps
Not that long ago, the dress code for any job interview was fairly formal. Men had to wear a suit and tie, while it was expected for a woman to wear stockings and heels along with a skirt suit or conservative dress.
That was before casual Fridays and the dot-com boom gave rise to the relaxed office attire that still marks today’s workplace. Nowadays, things aren’t quite so strict, but there are still a few guidelines that are good to follow.
1. To Be Confident, Opt for Comfort
One way to blow your job interview even before you’ve answered the questions? Wearing a too-big jacket or a shirt that won’t stay tucked in unless you constantly tug at it. It’s hard to put your best foot forward when you are busy adjusting an item of clothing or trying to hide the fact that your shoes aren’t shined.
If you’re job hunting, establish a go-to interview outfit. Make sure it’s cleaned, pressed, and ready to go — and have your accessories and shoes chosen in advance, too. That way you will be ready to shine at a moment’s notice.
2. Do Some Research Into the Company Dress Code
A top-notch law firm and an innovative marketing start-up will likely have very different cultures. To get a sense of how employees dress, check reviews on Glassdoor or Indeed. The company’s website will also offer clues.
Can’t suss out any info online? Take a stroll past the office at lunchtime and see what the majority of people are wearing.
3. When In Doubt, Opt for Overdressing
You almost can’t go wrong by opting for a more formal outfit rather than a too-casual one. A suit or conservative outfit will almost universally make a good impression, even when the office culture favors jeans and sneakers.
This tip is particularly true if the role you’re interviewing for is client-facing. After all, it’s fairly easy to dress down. If you wear overly casual duds, the hiring manager won’t know whether you can present a professional image when necessary.
4. Be Yourself
Many people think the answer to “how to dress for a job interview” is “eliminate all traces of your personality.” While you certainly don’t want to overdo it with flashy accessories or excessively trendy togs, you can still let your personality shine through.
Keep your flair to a minimum — one vintage brooch, say, or a colorful pair of argyle socks. But there’s no need to hide who you are all together. In fact, hiring managers know that personality and culture fit are often as important as your on-paper qualifications.
Final Thoughts on Job Interview Attire
Ask a dozen people how to dress for a job interview, and you’ll get a dozen answers. As long as you stick to these basic guidelines, however, the interviewer will keep her attention where it most belongs — on your experience and enthusiasm.
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