When it comes to job interviews, the old adage “dress to impress” still holds true.
The way you present yourself can make a lasting impression on potential employers, and the right outfit can help you feel confident and ready to tackle any questions that come your way. But with so many options out there, it can be difficult to know exactly what to wear.
Here are some general guidelines for both men and women when it comes to dressing for a job interview.
Research the company culture: Before you start putting together your outfit, take some time to research the company and its culture. This will give you a sense of the company’s values and expectations, and will help you choose an outfit that is both appropriate and reflective of your own style.
Keep it simple and professional: When it comes to job interviews, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Avoid flashy or bold colors and patterns, and stick to classic, professional pieces in neutral tones like black, navy, and grey.
Make sure your clothes are clean and well-fitting: It may seem obvious, but it’s important to make sure your clothes are clean and well-fitting before an interview. Nothing says “unprofessional” like wrinkled or ill-fitting clothes, so take the time to iron and/or steam your outfit, and make sure it fits properly.
Avoid too much perfume or cologne: While it’s important to make sure you smell fresh and clean for your interview, it’s also important not to go overboard with perfume or cologne. Strong scents can be overwhelming in a small space like an office, and may even cause allergic reactions in some people. It’s best to stick to a light, subtle fragrance, or to go fragrance-free altogether.
Wear comfortable shoes: You may be tempted to wear your favorite pair of heels or dress shoes to an interview, but it’s important to prioritize comfort as well. After all, you’ll be doing a lot of sitting and possibly even some walking during the interview, and uncomfortable shoes can be a major distraction. Stick to shoes that are both stylish and comfortable, and make sure they are in good condition with no scuffed heels or worn-out soles.
Wear a suit: A suit or skirt suit is the go-to outfit for most job interviews, and for good reason. A well-fitting suit can make you look polished and professional, and it’s a versatile option that can be dressed up or down depending on the company and the position you’re applying for.
Choose a neutral color: When it comes to suits, neutral colors like black, navy, and grey are always safe bets. These colors are classic and professional, and they’re versatile enough to be worn to a variety of different companies and industries.
Pay attention to fit: The fit of your suit is just as important as the color. A well-fitting suit will look polished and put-together, while an ill-fitting suit can make you look sloppy and unprofessional. Make sure the jacket fits well across the shoulders, and that the pants are the right length and width.
Wear a dress shirt: Underneath your suit jacket, you’ll want to wear a dress shirt. Choose a crisp, white shirt for a classic look, or opt for a light blue or pale pink for a slightly more modern feel. Avoid shirts with bold patterns or bright colors, as these can be distracting.
Add a tie: A tie is an optional accessory, since COVID many office environments have become more business casual but it can add a touch of polish to your outfit. Stick to conservative colors and patterns, and make sure the tie is the proper length
Keep accessories to a minimum: When it comes to accessories, less is usually more. A simple watch, a pair of stud earrings, and a bracelet or necklace can add a touch of personal style without being overwhelming. Avoid large or flashy accessories, as these can be distracting.
Consider a blouse or sweater: Underneath your jacket, you can wear a blouse or sweater in a neutral color like white, light blue, or grey. Avoid tops with low necklines or short sleeves, as these can be inappropriate for a professional setting.
Keep your makeup and hair simple: Like accessories, it’s best to keep your makeup and hair simple for a job interview. Stick to natural-looking makeup that enhances your features without being too dramatic. Avoid heavy or bold makeup, as this can be distracting. For your hair, opt for a polished and professional style that is neat and tidy.
Overall, the key to dressing for a job interview is to be professional, polished, and put-together. Choose simple, classic pieces in neutral colors, and make sure they fit well. Avoid bold colors, patterns, and accessories, and prioritize comfort and appropriateness. By following these guidelines, you can create an outfit that will help you feel confident and ready to impress potential employers.
For more interview tips, book a free appointment with ReStart! Not only can we help you prepare for any interview, we can help you get your next one, with comprehensive career resources for job seekers! We can also assist with referrals for FREE interview and workplace attire!