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How to Dress for an Interview

| How To Instructions, Office Life

Jan 8 2015

You landed an interview for your dream job—congratulations! Now all you need to do is walk into that interview with your best foot forward and knock their socks off. Start your interview preparation by dressing to impress.

Assess the Company Culture Ahead of Time

If you’re interviewing with a company where employees are expected to wear suits and ties every day, then you should dress to meet or exceed their standards of professionalism. If the company has a casual, jeans-every-day kind of atmosphere, then you should still dress up for the interview, but it won’t require a full-on suit and tie type of attire. If you wear a suit to a company where everyone else is wearing jeans, then you will stick out like a sore thumb and give off the wrong vibes. Likewise, if you show up to an interview wearing khakis and a short sleeve button up shirt when everyone else is wearing suits, then you probably won’t gain the respect of the interviewer very easily.

Dress Slightly Better Than Regular Employees

As a general rule of thumb, your interview attire should be a little dressier than what employees at that company wear to work on a normal day. If the typical company dress code is corporate casual, then it’s okay to wear a suit. If it’s more of a casual place, then it’s okay to wear a corporate casual outfit. Once you’ve decided whether a professional, corporate casual or casual outfit is best for your interview, the rest is easy.

Stay Comfortable

While you’ll want to dress to impress, it’s important to wear something that you’ll be comfortable in. If you’re comfortable, you’ll feel much more like yourself and, therefore, your personality will have a better chance of making itself known, which is the key ingredient to a successful interview.

Pay Attention to the Details

Unfortunately, buying the right clothes isn’t enough. You’ll want to make sure that the shirt, pants, skirt or dress you wear is clean and ironed to make the best possible impression. You’ll also want to make sure that your clothes fit you properly and that it isn’t too baggy or too tight. Wrinkly, ill-fitting clothing may give the impression that you are messy or unorganized.

Stay Away from Anything Too Flashy

Statement necklaces and sequined tops are fabulous, but the important thing to remember about interviewing is that your personality should take center stage, not your physical appearance. Your clothes and accessories should complement your attitude, not distract from it. Wear simple jewelry and plain, solid colored articles of clothing. Don’t overdo it on the makeup either.

Keep Yourself Well Groomed

Get a haircut before your interview if needed, and run a comb through it to keep it neat and out of the way. For the men—keep facial hair to a minimum, even during Movember.

Dressing well for your interview will set you up for success once you walk through the company doors of what could become your new career. Whatever you decide to wear, just remember to keep calm and be yourself!

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