The outfit you choose for your interview is like the bow on top of a carefully selected gift: It pulls it all together into the perfect package as you meet an employer or hiring manager. So, just like all the other effort you’ve put into your job search, it’s important to get it right.
Keep in mind that your priority in an interview is to present your qualifications as the best candidate among the competition. So, your attire should be appropriate to a company’s culture – and complement rather than distract from the reason you’re there.
Research the company’s dress code.
Short of stalking current employees on their way to work, there are a few ways you can do this:
- You may already have gotten a handle on it as you scoured the company website during your pre-interview research. But take another look at what people are wearing in various on-the-job images and videos. Then, plan to wear something that says “I get it.”
- If feasible, visit the company’s location and observe the daily dress code first hand.
- Email or call your interview contact person and ask.
Here’s a basic workplace attire guide.
Think ahead of time about what to wear for your interview – and think about the environment:
- Casual: Kick that casual vibe up a notch for your interview. This could be a knee-length skirt and blouse, a blazer, dark jeans or slacks, a button-down shirt or polo, or some combination of the above.
- Business casual: There’s a subtle difference when you add the word “business” before “casual.” For example, probably save your jeans for after you’re actually hired. Better options: dress pants, pencil skirts, cardigans or a jacket, or maybe a button-down shirt and tie.
- Formal: Appropriate attire might include a tailored suit, lace-up dress shoes or close-toed pumps, and stockings or dress socks.
- Industry-specific: Depending on the industry, dress codes may differ significantly between interviews and what employees wear on the job. For instance, when interviewing at a medical facility, you might opt for business casual or a step above, although you’d be wearing scrubs or a lab coat if hired.
- For a Zoom interview: Choose colors that contrast with your background without clashing too much.
C is for “comfortable and confident.”
Your interview outfit should be clean, pressed, and free of any stains, snags, pet hair or holes. But even as you button that top button and step into those power pumps, be sure everything is comfortable and doesn’t restrict your movement, irritate your skin, or otherwise get in the way of having a productive, successful conversation with your interviewers. If it helps, wear something you already own versus investing in a new ensemble.
At Search Wizards, it’s all about you and your future as a talent acquisition pro. Let’s work together on it. We’ll guide you through your successful job search from start to finish, including the interview look that helps nail it. Contact us today to learn more.