What To Wear For an Interview? – Everything You Need To Know
There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing. Back in the old days, there was an office environment that we needed to dress up for in our best suits and dies.
Heck, before, we couldn’t show up to the office wearing jeans. Nowadays, we can work from home in our pyjamas! So now, with more and more companies opting for a more casual environment, it can be challenging to decide what you should wear for a job interview.
There might still be companies that will expect you to wear formal clothes for the interview. But other companies might be more casual when it comes to recruiting new employees. Here, we’ll share some tips to help you decide what to wear for your next job interview.
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Some Essential Tips for Dressing for an Interview
There are some essential tips that you can follow when you’re trying to decide what to wear for your next job interview. We’ve listed our recommendations below.
Dress better than the person ahead of you
When you decide what to wear for your job interview, you should look at the two positions above the one you’re being interviewed for. You can look at the dress code for these positions to help you decide what to wear for your interview.
For example, if you are going for an interview for a job as a shift at the local ASDA, you might want to choose your best polo shirt and best pair of khakis. But if you want to ensure that the interviewer remembers you, why not go the extra mile by wearing a suit and tie?
Dress for the job you want
The old saying goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” When you’re picking out clothes for your next job interview, you should keep this in mind.
Your clothes are an essential part of presenting yourself in an interview. The hiring managers or interviewers will take less than ten seconds to decide what they think about you in an interview.
If you wear clothes that will match their dress code and your clothing is impeccable, they will find minimal fault in your presentation. It would be best if you also were sure to do the following:
- Think about which clothes are stylish and comfortable.
- Look at interview videos online to catch up on the latest trends
- Don’t wear patterns and always go for neutral colours
Keep up with the trends
Job interviews are all about first impressions and the messages you’re sending. So nothing creates a worst first impression than wearing an outdated or inappropriate outfit for the interview. So by wearing fresh, new and stylish clothes, you will be making the impression that you’re in touch with the latest trends.
On the other hand, you don’t want to dress too casually and use a too fresh a style for the job interview. The person interviewing you doesn’t want to see someone dressed for a night out on the town with their friends. So don’t show up for an interview wearing sandals or nose rings.
You don’t have to become a trendy fashionista to choose the right outfit for your next job interview. You just shouldn’t wear an outfit that’s older than five years. You should just dress up as if you’ve already worked in a similar position instead of just graduating.
Remember the occasion
It might seem obvious to pull out your best suit and tie for your job interview, but in some cases, this might not be the best decision. In some cases, there will be companies that will be more casual than others.
So it’s important to remember that you’re trying to create an image of the candidate for this job. The best way to do this is by doing your homework. You can check in with local recruiters and even some college education centres.
It would be best if you also thought about the climate and weather when you’re picking out an outfit for your job interview. If your interview is in winter, you shouldn’t wear a thin dress shirt and tie. But if you’re going for a job interview in a warm environment, a sweater isn’t recommended.
Dressing in comfortable clothes is essential when you’re interviewing for a job. Interviewers will be able to see when you’re uncomfortable and nervous quickly.
During the interview, the hiring manager might think that you’re nervous or uncomfortable because you are inexperienced or for other reasons. They won’t know that you’re uncomfortable because of the scratchy new sweater or those new shoes you bought especially for the occasion.
So before you go for your job interview, remember to remove all the price tags from your new clothes. If you’ve got new shoes, spend time breaking them in a few days before the job interview.
Also, sometimes remember that new isn’t always better. For a job interview, you might want to go for an outfit that’s tried and tested.
What is Business casual?
In some cases, you might get lucky and go for an interview where they’ve told you the dress code for the occasion is business casual. If they said business casual, the hiring manager might be testing your ability to fit in with their team.
If you’re going for an interview with a business casual dress code, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Don’t wear jeans (even dark coloured jeans), T-shirts, or trainers. You can’t wear the same clothes to a job interview that you would wear to relax at home. A simple collared shirt with a light wool sweater, tie, jacket, or all of the above will work just fine for men.
For women, a pair of formal trousers or a skirt with a stylish blouse will work for business casual. If you want to wear a dress, you could try a flowing dress. Just don’t go for a dress that has strappy sleeves.
What is Smart casual?
If you’re going for a job interview with a start-up company or something in a creative industry, you might be asked to wear a smart casual outfit. In this situation, you might be able to show your quirky side with your outfit. For example, if you are applying for a job in fashion or the arts.
Even though the interview might call for a smart casual outfit, you should keep in mind that it’s still a professional meeting and your clothes need to show that you know this.
Interview outfit tips for women
You need to keep a few things in mind if you’re a woman and going for a job interview. You kept in mind the following:
Don’t show cleavage. It will be considered inappropriate and unprofessional.
Be modest with the jewellery. Don’t wear anything too dangly or chunky. Also, you shouldn’t wear jewellery that you’ll want to fidget with during the interview.
Don’t go over the top with the heels. Your heels should be a maximum of three inches. You should also ensure that your shoes match your outfit.
Don’t wear tights, even in summer or warm weather.
If you want to wear a dress, you should choose a smart dress that’s a mostly dark colour and sleek.
Interview outfit tips for men
There are a few general tips that men can follow to ensure that they look good for their job interviews.
Wear a modest tie. Don’t wear anything with cartoon characters or anything comical.
Make sure that your belts and shoes match. For example, wear a matching belt for your black leather shoes. If you’re wearing a linen suit or a light grey suit, you can’t wear brown leather shoes.
You can wear a simple button-down shirt in a traditional pale blue or white colour. Stay away from pink!
Make sure that your suit fits you well. Not everyone can afford to themselves measured and fitted by a professional, but you can shop the sales or take your measurements to a more affordable tailor.
Interview outfit tips for non-binary
If you aren’t comfortable with wearing traditional male and female interview clothes, there are some tips you can follow to make a good impression in your job interview.
Even though a three-piece is considered formal male attire, you can give it a more androgynous feel if you choose not to wear a tie.
Make sure that your hairstyle, even a non-traditional hairstyle, is impeccably groomed and that your hair is a natural hair colour.
You need to ensure that your outfit fits you properly, is neat and clean and is made from good quality material.
What To Do If You’re Unsure What To Wear To an Interview?
It might be clear what you need to wear for your job interview some jobs. It will be challenging to figure out what you need to wear for the interview in other positions. Air on the side of caution, meaning it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
There are a few things you can do to make sure that you’re dressed appropriately for your job interview:
Go over all the messages and coms about the job you’re applying for. These will include job advertisements and the interview invitation to look at their language. Their language will give you an idea of how formal the company is.
You can check the company’s social media and website. You might be able to see how their current employees dress, and you can aim to dress better than them.
You can try contacting the HR department and ask about the proper interview attire. You can speak to contacts that you know who work for the company.
Final Thoughts on What to Wear to an Interview
We’ve all heard the proverb, “The clothes make the man.” Today, this is still true, whether you’re a man, woman, or non-binary. During an interview, the hiring manager will make a snap decision about whether or not you’ll fit in based on how you dress.
Your first impression is important because you should plan what you’ll wear ahead of time. Planning ahead will help you avoid any emergencies that might cause you some extra stress and nerves. But it’s important to remember that you should choose an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident while being stylish and professional.
Related Reading – How To Prepare For a Digital Interview?
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.