How to Dress for a Job Interview

Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

It would be great if we lived in a world where we were judged strictly by our qualifications and personality, but the reality is that when you show up for an interview, you will also be judged by what you wear. First impressions make a difference. -Fishberg, Jennifer

When you meet a potential employer for the first time, they immediately form an opinion of you based on what you’re wearing and how you carry yourself. In spite of the work environment, it’s important to dress professionally for a job interview because how you dress can either make or break the job interview.

When considering how to dress for an interview, use your best judgement and don’t overthink it. You should choose clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident nothing that you’d have to tug or pull at or something that would wrinkle easily on your way to the interview.

Suitable apparel for an interview depends fairly on the industry and position being applied for. Its hard to go too wrong with a suit. You can always wear the jacket or take it off for a more casual look once you get there and see how the interviewer and other employees are dressed. So the best advice is to learn more about the company.

There are various ways in which you can acquire this information. Do you know somebody who works there, or somebody who knows somebody? Ask them about the dress code. There’s also the option of doing a little scouting and taking a quick trip to the company’s parking lot as employees arrive or depart for work to get a first-hand look.

If you don’t have an opportunity to learn about the dress code or observe people who work at the company, then dress in standard corporate attire.

For women, a matching suit or jacket and skirt or pants in navy, dark grey or black coupled with a tailored blouse in an appropriate neutral color is very safe and traditional. For men, a two piece suit in navy or dark grey with a white or neutral shirt and a simple tie will make a much better impression than someone dressed in jeans and sneakers.

That held, different industries have different expectations of how candidates and employees should dress. The appropriate dress code can contrast greatly depending on company, industry, and location. In all cases, being well-groomed with clean, untattered clothes is always required.

In the end, its always best to use simple good judgement when weighing the options between one outfit and another, with a nod to erring on the side of the more conservative. This also applies to any jewellery, cosmetics, body piercings, tattoos, or anything which might prove distracting or be considered flashy.

And of course, have groomed hair, clean nails, and polished shoes. Avoid heavy colognes and perfumes. Remember, when you’re being judged on whether or not you’ll fit in, every detail counts, no matter how small.