Picking clothes to wear to an interview is all about two things.
First, it’s about feeling great, from comfy interview shoes to an outfit that makes you feel confident. Second, your clothes should make a positive first impression on your prospective employers. The image you project can be as important as what you say during the interview. Deciding what to wear at your interview can help you land your dream job.
Prepping for the Interview
Ask what to wear to the interview. When a recruiter or HR rep calls you to schedule your interview, ask about the company’s dress code and the culture. Their answers can give you clues about how you should dress. Try elevating your dress to be a step above the company’s normal dress code. If the dress code is business casual, aim for corporate casual. Showing up underdressed is a classic job search mistake. Dressing up is way better. Women can wear a nice blouse and slacks or a skirt.
Considering the Job
Know the company. You should always consider the job and industry you’ll be interviewing for. If you’re looking for a position as a creative, you can probably dress less formally and opt for smart business casual dress instead of a suit. If you’re interviewing for a position in the insurance or financial services fields, however, the more professionally dressed the better. Positions with high-tech companies usually fall somewhere in between. If in doubt, it’s best to play it safe and opt for professional or corporate casual for the interview.
Selecting Your Interview Shoes
When you’re headed to your interview, shoes matter. The heel height should be low or short. Avoid sandals or open-toed shoes. Your shoes should be polished, and they shouldn’t look scuffed. Above all else, remember that it’s hard to answer tough interview questions if your feet hurt! So make sure your interview shoes are comfortable.
Choosing the Right Colors
Think calming and classic. Personal expression is a wonderful thing, but when you’re interviewing for a job, less is usually more. The most recommended colors for interviews are blue and black because they give an air of professionalism and power. Colors you want to shy away from include orange and yellow. Prospective employers can see these colors as unprofessional and unfocused. Orange and yellow are also colors that can be distracting to the interviewer. You don’t want the hiring manager to focus on how loud your shirt is instead of your great resume and how awesome you’re doing during the interview.
Managing the Cost
Do some research. Sure, we would all like to look our best by wearing the finest tailored suits, slacks, and shirts. But when you’re looking for a job, affording designer business attire may not be an option. So how can you dress professionally and fashionably while not breaking the bank? Buying professional clothes and interview shoes does not have to be expensive.
Try upscale consignment shops and stores like Nordstrom Rack and TJMaxx. Websites and apps like ThredUp and Poshmark allow people to sell their gently used or brand new clothes for less than traditional retail. These companies carry high-quality clothes at a much lower cost. Take a look at our Dress to Impress Pinterest board to find some fun and creative ideas! Classic definitely doesn’t have to mean boring.