Check the dress code of your
prospective employer to demonstrate
cultural fit from day one.
Peruse the sartorial guides on what to wear to a job interview, and you’re likely to be told that you need to wear a suit/skirt for the best chance at interview success.
Yet it’s not quite as simple as that – and even the old rule about dressing for the interview as if you’re already working at the company doesn’t always apply, either. More and more employers allow casual dress – especially in the more creative industries – but you wouldn’t want to turn up for any interview dressed in a T-shirt and trainers, no matter how casual their dress code.
To add to the confusion, dress codes are often cultural; they also shift with the seasons and change over time.
Therefore, one of the best ways to resolve your interview attire dilemma is to simply ask beforehand.
Email or call the employer’s HR manager before your interview, and ask them about the appropriate dress code for interview outfits with their company. It’s a simple strategy – but it can help you to avoid overdressing or underdressing, and that will do wonders for your confidence right off the mark.
You could also do some company research on LinkedIn or Facebook. Check out employer profiles and office photos, to see how they dress and present themselves. Whatever the dress code appears to be, the rule of thumb is to take it up a notch when you decide what to wear for the interview.
General guidelines for what to wear to an interview
Here are some other key points to help you decide what to wear to a job interview:
- Interview preparation should include getting your interview attire laid out and ready the night before, and make sure everything is clean, ironed and looking crisp.
- Wear colours that suit you and choose breathable fabrics that will keep you cool and dry.
- For women, avoid interview outfits that are too revealing and keep heels at a sensible height.
- Avoid shoes that squeak, overly patterned outfits and shiny suits.
- It’s about more than just your clothes. Make sure you’re well groomed overall, with fresh breath, and clean hair and fingernails.
- Avoid dousing yourself in perfume or aftershave. Less is definitely more!
- Bear in mind that flashy jewellery can be distracting.
- Express yourself and be you – especially if the role is partly about who you are as a ‘brand’ – but avoid clothing styles that are too ‘out there’, which could distract, alienate or confuse your employer.