Posted June 11, 2015 by

Tips for Dressing Right at Your Next Job Interview

Beautiful businesswoman ready to handshake on a white isolated background

Businesswoman ready to handshake on a white isolated background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You’ve prepared for your job interview mentally and academically, but have you done your fashion research? Don’t let your choice of wardrobe for your interview negatively influence all the other positives you have in place. What will work best for your interview varies with each company. Before deciding what to wear to your interview, look into the every day dress code at that company. Then, choose apparel that is a step up from their everyday attire. It is just as important not to seem over-dressed for a casual work environment as it is to dress to impress in a more formal environment. This article will help show you what to wear and what not to wear to a job interview. We will also highlight how important your interview outfit can be.

Why is Your Interview Outfit So Important?

With competition so stiff in the job markets of today, you cannot rely on your interview skills and qualifications alone. If it is close between you and another job candidate, your appearance might just be the deciding factor. Attention to detail with your wardrobe for interview day can translate into attention to detail for you, as a potential employee. Consider these statistics from Pinterest:

  • 65% of bosses said clothes could be the deciding factor between two similar candidates.
  • 70% of employers claiming they don’t want applicants to be fashionable or trendy.
  • 33% of bosses claim they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone.
  • 7% of the impact when meeting someone new comes from what they actually say.
  • 55% of the impact when meeting someone new comes from the way they dress, act, and walk through the door.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

As you can see from the statistics, the detail and attention you pay to your wardrobe for your interview can serve as an indication of the type of employee you will be. Do you do your research? Do you pay meticulous attention to detail? If your outfit on the day of your interview can help check off those boxes for the interviewer, your appearance speaks volumes of words. Because your outfit can be so important, remember that it is perfectly alright to ask what to wear to an interview. You can ask about that along with asking what will be expected of you during the interview. This is really the best way to be prepared for the interview. Here are some ideas for what to wear to an interview:

  • Tailored clothing. Whether you decide that a suit is appropriate, or a well put-together outfit is best, it should be tailored to fit you. Anything too small or oversized will undermine an otherwise perfect outfit.
  • Closed toe shoes. While flip flops are an obvious no-no, you might think that other women’s sandals or open toed shoes could work as appropriate; however, they aren’t. You do not want anything that can be distracting and toes sticking out of shoes can be distracting.
  • Always lean towards classic style rather than something trendy.
  • Make sure the accessories you choose help pull your outfit together. For example, your shoes should be shined.

What Not to Wear to an Interview

The list of things not to wear to an interview is long. Some of the more obvious things don’t need to be mentioned here; but don’t wear anything too revealing. Ladies’ skirts shouldn’t be too short and necklines should not be too low or revealing. For men, don’t be too casual. If you can leave piercings off, you should do that. If you have a facial piercing and plan on wearing them daily, you probably want to ask if that is something acceptable before even taking the interview. Here are a list of some less obvious things you should not wear to an interview:

  • Don’t try to be overly fashion-forward.
  • Don’t wear too much jewelry.
  • Leave your hat at home.
  • If you have headphones on during your commute, put them away long before you meet your interviewer.
  • Don’t keep your phone or mobile device out or on.

What the Color of Your Outfit Says about You

Did you know that the color of your interview outfit can say a lot about your personality? Color is a powerful aspect of many things that have to do with the workplace, and the color of your clothing is no exception. Here are some personality traits that go along with your clothing color:

  • Blue is a popular color for a reason: it can impart a sense of calmness as well as trust. It is often described as a “safe” color to choose for an interview outfit because of so many positive emotions and feelings associated with the color blue. Navy blue instills confidence and also shows off a classic and conservative vibe.
  • Brown is not the best color to choose for an interview outfit. Although brown usually means you are reliable, it can give the impression that you are too simple and old-fashioned.
  • Black is a great color if you are interviewing for a management or leadership position. It can help give you a leader vibe. Just be careful not to wear too much black, it can appear overpowering.
  • Red is a color of power, but it can actually give off the appearance of too much power and can be intimidating. In some cases, it could be interpreted as domineering or a rebellious rule breaker. You usually want to avoid red for interviews.
  • Gray is also a safe choice that shows your potential employer that you are logical and analytical. Too much gray can be too plain, so choose a smart accessory like a scarf, handkerchief, or handbag that adds a little color.
  • Orange is a playful color that is often associated with youth or games. It might work in some environments, but it is best to stay away from orange for a job interview.
  • White interview clothing gives off the impression of being organized and detail-oriented. It can be used in conjunction with other colors because often all white can just seem strange.
  • Purple and yellow are great clothing accents if your job will require you to be artistic and creative. Yellow represents the sun, which can mean brightness and optimism. Purple shows that you are unique.

Summary

These tips should help you toward success at your next interview. You can see why the term “dress to impress” is so popular and important. Remember that it is OK to ask what to wear to an interview; but if you do ask, then adhere to your instructions. Your appearance tells more about your personality than you might have thought. Even the color of your outfit can tell your potential new boss a lot about you that can’t be expressed by words either spoken during the interview or written in your resume.

Bio: Tegan Connor is blogger and Brand Manager for Neverlandstore.com.au. She enjoys writing about street wear, surf clothing, fashion and lifestyle tips and ideas.

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