Your job interview may be the first opportunity you have to make a good impression with your new employer and part of that is making sure you look the part.
You should always ‘dress for the job you want’ and although many employers have relaxed their workwear policies over the years, this isn’t always the case for job interviews.
In this article, we explore what you should wear to a job interview and how to decide on an outfit based on the role and company that you’re applying for.
How to Dress for a Job Interview
The first step to deciding on how to dress for a job interview is to understand the culture of the place you’re applying to. This is usually easy enough to determine during your initial research.
Consider browsing through their website or social media channels and then make your decision whilst considering the following tips:
- What is the company dress code?
- Choose the most formal clothes that you feel comfortable in
- Check for any stains or holes
- Avoid dressing too casually
- Use your own judgement
1. What is the company dress code
Every employer typically has a different dress code. Some companies may insist on professional wear, while others may take a more relaxed approach to how you dress.
Some companies write down their company dress code but if they haven’t, you can usually get an understanding of the culture by examining the website or social media channels.
Always remember, even if the company has a relaxed dress code this may not be their expectation for the job interview. It’s always in your interest to be overdressed rather than under, as you guarantee a professional demeanour and still show an understanding of the importance of dressing well.
2. Choose the most formal clothes you feel comfortable in
Although you want to look as professional as possible, don’t do this at the expense of your own comfort. The interview is still based on your technical ability, experience and value you can provide for an employer, not how good your suit is.
You want to strike a balance between looking good and feeling good. If you’re self-conscious in what you’re wearing, this might come across in your interview.
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3. Check for any stains or holes
It might sound like common sense but try to avoid clothes that are dirty or damaged. This can give off the wrong impression and suggest that you’re not particularly bothered about how you present yourself.
Give your outfit the once over a few days before the interview to check for any holes, stains or other issues that you can rectify if necessary.
4. Avoid dressing too casually
Fundamentally, dressing ‘smart’ is subjective to each individual and while you want to be dressed up, you want to do so in a professional way – not like you’re going on a night out.
If you’re applying for a role in a corporate environment, think about wearing professional clothing such as darker suits, dresses and smart footwear.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t completely remove any semblance of personality from your outfit. At this point you can make a common sense call – does this outfit suggest that I’m professional but still feel like ‘me’?
5. Use your own judgement
The final and most important tip is to not overthinking choosing your outfit.
The worst thing you can do is second-guess yourself and choose something in a panic that doesn’t fit or makes you feel uncomfortable.
How you hold yourself in your clothes often reflects in your demeanour – if you feel confident and comfortable, this will come across in your body language and public speaking.