One might argue that your skills and experience are what is most important when attending a job interview. However, how you present yourself will ultimately have a significant impact on your prospective employer. So be sure that you make a positive first impression.
Below, you'll find the best tips on what you should wear to a job interview, depending on the company culture, and what you should avoid.
Know the company dress code
The business world has changed on different levels in various industries. The days where a suit was considered a universal mandatory armour in the workplace is now history. What might be seen as professional in one company might be too formal and not fitting in another.
Some startups are famous for having a more lax atmosphere, whilst others are still inclined to adopt the professional approach. Some companies work in a very corporate environment, whilst others work in a very casual setting, so be sure to do your research on the company environment before you turn up for your interview. Not to mention, always keep the role and industry in mind.
If you don't manage to gauge the office dress code from the company's social media pages or website, try asking your recruiter or call up or email the company's HR department.
When in doubt, steer towards the formal style. But, in general, take things one step up to the daily dress code of the company, and dress relatively smart.
What to wear
Suits are standard when it comes to a professional business workplace.
- Skirts or trouser suits, with dress shoes
- Simple accessories
- Blazer or suit jackets, button-down shirts, suit pants, ties and dress shoes with matching socks
In a casual business environment, you'll still need to dress up a little bit.
- Conservative and a comfortable button-down shirt and cardigan paired with black or navy dress pants or a pencil skirt
- Professional dress
- Comfortable closed-toe dress shoes or boots
- Simple accessories
- Slacks or chinos with a belt, button-down shirt and tie
- Blazers are optional
- Dress shoes such as oxfords or loafers with matching socks
We suggest holding off the jeans and flip flop look till you get the job for casual workplaces.
- Collared shirts with pants or a pencil skirt
- Work dress
- Closed-toe shoes
Whatever the business environment, it is important to look polished and professional at all times.
The preferred colours by employers are usually blue, followed by black, brown and grey—you can't go wrong with neutrals.
- Long-sleeved dress shirt, khaki pants, a belt and neat and clean dress shoes
What to avoid
- Flip flops or other open-toed shoes and sneakers
- Tank tops and shorts
- Skirts or dresses that are too short
- Perfume, cologne or aftershave (people might be sensitive or allergic, and your smell might be a distraction)
- Unshaven beard, greasy hair, heavy makeup, or chipped nail polish