So you landed the interview. Congratulations! Although it sometimes goes overlooked by job candidates, dressing appropriately is one of the best ways to impress your interviewer.
Not sure where to get started? You’ve come to the right place.
Study up on Dress Codes
First thing’s first, check out the company dress code.
Showing up overdressed is not likely something to worry about, but underdressing is a legitimate concern. “The interview dress rule of thumb is that you dress one or two levels higher than the job that you’re going for,” Kate Wendleton, president and founder of career counseling and outplacement firm The Five O’Clock Club, recommends.
Make sure you understand the difference between casual, business casual and business formal, for example. Dark pants and a button-down shirt or blouse are usually fine for casual workplaces. A business-casual environment could mean dress pants with a button-down shirt, belt, and tie for men; for women, this could mean dark dress pants or a dark skirt with a blouse and cardigan.
However, business professional or business formal almost always means a suit – or a well-fitting dress – if you prefer to go that route.
Tips for Dressing Well for an Interview:
Regardless of what you decide to wear, keep the following in mind:
- Opt for a more modest look. If you’re questioning whether to button that top button or wear your flashiest heels, go with your gut. Save the cocktail hour attire for just that.
- Don’t wait until the last minute! Give yourself a few days to decide on your wardrobe. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to rectify wrinkles, holes, and other signs of wear and tear.
- Finally, if you can’t find the dress code information you’re looking for online, ask! An HR manager or hiring rep will likely appreciate you taking the extra initiative to look the part. A simple “What sort of work environment should I dress for?” will do the trick.
An appropriate interview outfit will help you look and feel your best – which translates to more confidence for you and an ultimately unbeatable interview.