Making a good first impression at your job interview is an important first step and one way you can do this is by wearing the right outfit.
The saying goes that you should ‘dress for the job you want’ and while expectations around work wear have changed over the years, it still holds true for job interviews.
Below we explore what to wear to a job interview and how to decide on your outfit based on where you’re applying for.
How to Dress for a Job Interview
There are some basic first steps that you can take before you decide on what to wear to a job interview.
You can usually find out this information while you’re researching the company, either through their website or social media channels:
The steps you should take include:
- Research 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. Research the company dress code
Depending on where you’re applying, the dress code for the workplace may differ. While some companies insist on business wear including a tie and smart shoes, some may have a more relaxed approach.
You can usually get an idea of the company dress code – if it isn’t actually written down – by examining the company website or social media channels.
Just remember, even if the company has a more relaxed dress code on a day-to-day basis, it may still be in your interest to dress more formally so that you can highlight your professionalism and demonstrate an understanding of how important a job interview is.
2. Choose the most formal clothes you feel comfortable in
While you want to look presentable and professional, don’t do this at the expense of your comfort. The aim of the interview is to demonstrate your ability, experience and potential – not that you own a three-piece suit.
Although you might look good, if you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable during the interview this may actually hinder your performance overall.
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3. Check for any stains or holes
This is common sense but try to avoid wearing any clothes that are dirty, stained or damaged. This can give the wrong impression to an employer and reflects poorly on you.
Consider checking your clothing a few days before the interview for any stains or holes so that you can get it cleaned up or repaired if necessary.
4. Avoid dressing too casually
It’s important to remember that although you want to look good during your interview, you might not wear the same sort of outfit that you would on a night out or at an event.
Although business wear and formal wear have some overlap, you’re not necessarily going to wear a ballgown to your job interview.
If you’re entering a corporate office-based environment, it’s typical to wear ‘professional’ clothing such as darker suit jackets, dresses and smart shoes such as loafers or heels.
While you may want to avoid wearing clashing, bold colours, don’t be afraid to inject some colour into your outfit as this can demonstrate a creative or playful side to your personality.
5. Use your own judgement
The most important thing about choosing an outfit for a job interview is to use your own judgement and don’t overthink it! The worst thing you can do is panic and try to wear something that is uncomfortable or you don’t feel confident in.
How you feel in your clothes often reflects how you come across to other people, which is why it’s vital that you feel at your best while remaining as presentable as possible.