When you’re hunting for a new job, there are many things you need to be successful.
You must be updating your resume for each application to ensure it reflects the experience needed for that job. You must draft a cover letter after cover letter to make sure that the companies you’re applying to know why you’re the best person for the job. And you must be mentally prepping for the interviews, coming up with the perfect answers that will land you your dream job.
Amid all this job hunting work, it’s easy to overlook another essential piece of the puzzle – your interview attire! You only have one chance to make a first impression with a new employer, so looking your best is an essential part of nailing your interview.
Here are some tips for how to dress to impress for your next interview.
- Know the Company’s Stance on Work Attire
These days, different companies have different requirements around what’s appropriate workwear.
For most offices, the standard is business casual. This usually means slacks or a skirt, a collared shirt – either polo or button-down – or a nice blouse. You don’t have to dress to the nines every day, but you must dress well.
But some offices, especially in the tech startup industry, have allowed actual casual dress as their business attire. We’re talking about jeans and a t-shirt.
Look on the company’s website and see how the employees in the pictures are dressed. Try to emulate their look for the interview. If the office attire is casual, dress one step up from that for the interview. No matter how casual the office dress code is you never want to wear jeans and a t-shirt to an interview.
- Dressing Up
That old saying “dress for success” definitely applies when you’re interviewing for a new job. You want to show the people conducting the interview that this job is important to you and dressing up a little is an easy visual cue that you’re taking this opportunity seriously.
If your personal style tends to be more on the casual side, choose an outfit that you would consider to be “dressing up.” If you don’t have anything in your closet that fits the bill, it’s time to do a little shopping. While you may be hesitant to buy a brand new outfit just for an interview, it’s a sound investment – especially if the outfit gets you the job!
And make sure that your outfit is laundered and ironed. It may seem silly, but wrinkles can be a visual indicator that you’re not paying attention to the details.
- Keep Your Outfit Appropriate
An interview is not the time to show off your physical assets, it’s the time to show off your mental assets! So keep your outfit appropriate and not too eye-catching.
Proper interview attire does not include short skirts, cleavage-baring shirts, low V-necks that show off toned pecs, or tight pants that draw attention where it shouldn’t be drawn. Also, try to keep patterns to a minimum. Simple and classy is always the way to go.
Choosing Interview Attire that Impresses
The bottom line when it comes to choosing interview attire is to pick an outfit that fits with the company’s workwear standards, that is something fancier than you’d wear on a daily basis outside the office, that is simple, classy, and appropriate.
Remember that the outfit you choose is a visual cue to the people interviewing you that you care about the job and that you’re a professional person. If you dress to impress you’re more likely to get the job.
For more tips on how to dress your best, check out the rest of our blog.