What To Wear To A Professional Interview February 28, 2021 – Posted in: Inspiration – Tags: Attire, Interview, Job, Jobs
If you’re looking to switch careers or are ready to step into your first ever job, the interview can be incredibly stressful. Remembering what you’re going to say, prepping any presentations and statistics you need, and planning the route so you’re not late – there’s a lot to think about. Naturally, what to wear is the last thought. But first impressions can make a real difference to the success of your interview. Carol Goman reported for Forbes that an interviewer’s mind has been made up in the first seven seconds of your interview. So, the pressure is on.
Therefore, what should you wear? Here are some top tips:
Assess the overall tone
Over the past decade, casual wear, or smart casual, has become the norm in almost every business, so what to wear for an interview is no longer a case of ‘one size fits all’. Wearing a three-piece suit for an office job that promotes a casual and comfortable dress code may look a little too try-hard. But underestimating how smart you need to be can give off a careless attitude.
The easiest way to actually gauge what to wear is by simply asking. Rather than accepting the interview, hanging up, and squealing in excitement, make sure to ask what the typical dress code is. They’ll be able to let you know whether it’s casual, smart casual, or formal.
You might also be able to gauge the overall tone through their social media accounts. Check out their feeds to see if there are any behind-the-scenes or in-the-office photos so you can see what other staff are wearing.
If you think the dress is casual, always try to go for smart casual. A shirt and jeans or trousers, and lose the tie. Or a simple dress with smart shoes will do the trick.
Avoid bold patterns
Whether the dress code is casual or smart, turning up in a textured, bright suit is not a good idea. The interviewer will either hate it or love it, and it’s not worth the risk. When wearing smart attire or a suit, opt for simple, neutral, and traditional colors. If you must use a pattern, try a polka dot or stripe.
Wear real shoes
Don’t try to pull plimsols, pumps, or trainers off as workwear – that includes black pairs. Wear real shoes – preferably leather or faux leather – to give a good impression. Investing in a smart pair of shoes is a good idea if you’re planning on attending a few interviews, but they’re also good for having in the wardrobe for weddings and other formal events. If you can’t afford a brand-new pair, don’t worry. Thrift store shoes can be easily spruced up to look like new with leather paint for shoes. Available in a number of traditional or bright colors, leather paint can revive an old pair to look smart and formal just in time for your interview.
If you want to inject a little character and personality into your outfit, use a few subtle accessories to make your point. A necklace, headband, or bracelet, or quirky cuff links, a watch, or belt will be plenty.