Preparing for a job interview can be tough on the nerves. After you’ve researched the company, practiced your answers to potential questions and made a plan to arrive on time (or better yet, early!), what else is there?—What to wear to a job interview. It may seem simple, but it’s something a lot of people don’t get quite right. So how can you be one of the people who do?
Years ago, it was clear cut. Dark and serious suits—typically skirt suits for women—were the tried and true go-to for interview attire. Things might not have changed much at some companies, but, on average, things are a bit more relaxed these days. The major issue is striking a balance between too formal and too casual. Take these tips into consideration when choosing what to wear to your next interview.
- Show up in a dated ensemble. If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, or just haven’t updated your wardrobe lately, don’t let it show. Buy a few new basics, or at least one good interview outfit. You don’t necessarily have to be fashion forward to land the job, but let them know you know how others see you—and that you care.
- Overdo it on perfume or cologne. It’s a good idea to wear none at all, but if you must, keep it to a minimum.
- Overdo it on make-up or accessories. Good accessories can make an outfit. A bold piece or two can make you stand out, particularly if you’re trying for a creative job. But don’t show up wearing all the costume jewelry you inherited from your grandmother.
- Make it too casual. While things have changed, casual isn’t always king. This really depends on the position you’re interviewing for and the culture of the organization. But it’s usually better to err on the side of caution and look more professional than casual.
- Be polished. Make sure you’re looking clean and professional. That means brushed hair, fresh breath and no wrinkles or lint.
- Try to reflect the workplace culture. If you show up in a suit to interview at a savvy youth-oriented startup, it could go either way. But you might seem like a better fit if you dress it down just a tad. If you show up to a corporate powerhouse wearing tennis shoes, it probably won’t reflect well on you as a candidate. While it is always best to lean toward professional when in doubt, try to strike the balance they’re looking for.
- Be yourself. They wanted to meet you for a reason! You can be professional, yet still show off your great personality.
If you don’t feel ready for the interview, reach out to the career experts at TalentBridge today!