What to Wear to a Job Interview
Nothing says ‘Hire Me’ like a polished interview outfit – think classic, tasteful and tailored – you can’t go wrong. For men that often means a suit and tie, and for women a skirt/dress pants and blazer or dress. But dressing for an interview is not always so simple…
When putting together a killer interview outfit, you need to take into consideration the culture of the organization you’re interviewing with, and the message you want to send. Someone interviewing to be a programmer at a tech start-up would probably dress a little differently from someone interviewing for a financial manager’s role.
Choosing your interview outfit: find out what is appropriate
Choosing your interview outfit is all about appropriateness for the role and the company. Dress codes are cultural, and they shift with the seasons and change over time – but as a general rule, it’s wise to ride on the side of caution. Interviews are not the place to push the sartorial envelope, unless you really want to make a bold statement.
One of the best ways to clarify what to wear to a job interview is to simply ask beforehand.
Email or call the employer’s HR manager before your interview and ask them about the appropriate dress code for interviews with their company. It’s a simple strategy, but it can help you to avoid overdressing or under dressing and ensure you hit the right note.
You could also do some company research on LinkedIn or Facebook. Check out employee profiles and office photos to see how they dress and present themselves. Whatever the dress code appears to be, the rule of thumb is to take it up a notch when you decide what to wear to the interview.
General guidelines for what to wear to an interview
More than anything, you want to present as a consummate professional with impeccable grooming – and impeccable grooming is defined by attention to detail. You need to consider every aspect of your appearance, and don’t leave it to the last minute.
Here are some details to consider when planning your interview outfit:
- Think of the message you want to send: are you going to go full ‘power suit’ or do you want to give a more relaxed vibe with chinos/slacks and a nice shirt and blazer (this applies equally to men and women)?
- Wear colors that suit you and give some thought to the message they send – blue is considered a safe and ‘dependable’ color, while bright colors make a bold statement that might be more appropriate in creative roles and industries. Avoid overly busy or shiny clothes.
- Choose breathable fabrics that will keep you cool and dry.