You’ve been applying to jobs for weeks until you finally receive an invitation to an interview! Once you calmed down from hearing that amazing news, you remember that you now have to figure out what to wear. Regardless of if it is an in-person or virtual interview, you have to think about what you are going to be wearing from head to toe. Spoiler alert: it does not involve your plaid pajama pants that you’ve been wearing all week. The following 5 tips will help you know what to do (and what not to do) when coming up with the perfect outfit to land the job.
1. Dress to impress
Regardless of the ‘normal’ attire of the company you are applying to, it is important to be overdressed instead of underdressed. It exhibits professionalism and your respect for the potential employer. This means no jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, or open-toed shoes. Instead, wear a blouse or collared shirt, nice pants, and make sure you are wearing a matching pair of socks! There is a potential that an interviewer can see your full body when you are sitting down, so do not make the mistake of wearing embarrassing or mismatched socks.
Pro tip: A blazer or suit jacket can transform an outfit from business casual to a more professional look.
2. Dress professionally from top to bottom
Interviews can be conducted in person or virtually. Many people joke about not wearing any pants during virtual interviews, but we recommend you complete your business outfit regardless of the interview method. The way you dress can change your demeanor; a complete outfit won’t distract you from worrying about accidentally standing up with your camera still on.
3. Avoid flashy colors/wear matching colors
You may love hot pink, neon green, or bright red, but these are NOT the colors to wear to an interview because they can be incredibly distracting. Neutral and other more subtle colors are better, such as blue, light or dark green, and tan, as they convey a more professional appearance. However, you can certainly still add a pop of color as long as it is not too gaudy. The most important factor is to wear colors that complement each other and do not clash. Check out this article for more specifics on how to dress for a business professional or business casual interview.
Pro tip: Wearing black pants makes putting a matching outfit together much easier.
4. Avoid revealing or too tight clothing
There may be a top that you like to wear out to dinner with friends, but that does not mean it is appropriate to wear in an interview. It is always recommended to dress more on the modest side because it ensures the interviewer’s focus is on you and not just your clothing, which means not wearing skin-tight clothes or low-cut shirts (or the bright clothing mentioned before!).
Some business shirts and pants can be see-through or made of thin material, so you should always try on clothing prior to an interview to make sure you can’t see anything under it. Business clothing can be a gradual investment, but it is better to buy quality business clothes as they will last longer than thin, cheaply made clothing. However, you don’t need to spend a hundred dollars on new business clothes from high-end stores. Thrift stores can be great options to find affordable and appropriate business clothes for a fraction of the price of regular stores!
5. Add accessories
Watches and necklaces are perfect statement pieces to add to your business outfit. Although they are not necessary to complete an outfit, they just add a nice extra touch to any outfit.
A briefcase or medium-sized bag is a helpful accessory that can be used to carry your resume, writing samples, or anything else you may need for the interview.
Pro tip: Always bring a copy of your resume to an interview.
Accessories certainly add to an outfit, but keeping makeup and accessories to a minimum is key. A hat should also not be worn as it is not deemed professional and hides your face. Accessories should complement your professional outfit, not steal all the attention from it.
This article discussed some of the guidelines on how to dress professionally, but also touched upon how you don’t need to completely sacrifice style or fashion trends to be dressed appropriately. Plus with the right outfit, your confidence will be so high that you will do amazing in your interview! If you need some extra help preparing for your interview, check out our blog for more interview-related posts or look into BrandResumes’ interview coaching for more tailored advice.