Knowing what to wear to your job interview can be just as important as your résumé, skills, experience, and qualifications. In fact, it can be even more so. This is because you have only one chance to make a good first impression and to show your potential employer that you are someone that they should hire.
In this article, we will discuss some general guidelines for nailing your job interview attire.
Subdued is Best
When in doubt, go for something subtle. The exception to this is if you are dressing for a job in the fashion industry. In this case, you will want to dress in a way that shows you are fashion-forward. For whatever other industry you are applying, it is generally advised that you dress several levels above their general workforce on any given day.
That means that if your prospective co-workers generally wear jeans and t-shirts, you should wear a dressy top, dress jeans or pants, and ballet flats or loafers. If the employee culture is one in which the people wear business casual, you should wear formal business attire, and if the atmosphere is formal, you should wear a blazer and business skirt or trousers.
It is not advised that you wear bright or bold colours for your interview. If you are in doubt as to whether or not something is too bold, you should always go on the side of less is more. Unless you are presenting yourself for the most casual of job interviews, it is always advised that you wear pantyhose. You should steer away from colours like yellow, red, or bright blue, and opt instead for opaque hosiery. Women’s opaque tights should be paired with black shoes for optimum effect, and you should be prepared with a back-up pair in case you snag your hose on the way to the interview.
You will want to steer away from anything that is considered too trendy and opt for the classics. You cannot go wrong with a blazer, and you should stick to muted colours like black, navy blue, grey, or brown. Your blazer should be ironed and hung up prior to the meeting, and you should put it on right before you leave. This will keep you from spilling food or drink on your clothes, and it will minimise the possibility or your children or pets doing the same.
If the company you are applying to is not that formal, you can choose to wear a cardigan instead of a blazer, and the same colour rules apply. You can coordinate your cardigan or blazer with a dress blouse that is not sheer or that has spaghetti straps. Your blouse can be black or white, some other subdued colour, or it can have a tasteful print. The idea is that your clothing should never distract your interviewer from the focal point — you.
Your cardigan, blazer, and blouse can then be matched to a brown, black, navy blue, grey, or white business skirt or to a pair of smart trousers. In addition, you can wear a classic business dress of a single colour, or you can wear a classy little black dress. You will want to make sure that your outfit looks good ahead of time and that everything fits properly.
Things to Avoid
You want to dress modestly, making sure that you can sit down in your skirt without showing too much skin. You also want to be able to sit comfortably without your waistband fitting too tightly. Tall heels should be avoided as well as open toes. Tennis shoes and flip-flops should not be worn, and you should avoid wearing distracting jewellery. Flashy makeup is a no-no as is wearing clothing with company logos. Perfume should be kept to a minimum, as employers may not share your tastes, or they may be allergic.