Do you know what to wear to a job interview? They said to dress comfortably and professionally, but what does that even mean?
This isn’t just a question of style: a study of more than 2000 bosses found that 55 percent formed part of their first impression based on how the interviewee was dressed for the interview. But more than ever, making the right impression in a job interview takes more than showing up in something straight from the dry cleaners, especially if everyone else in the room is wearing cargo shorts.
If you want to know the proper job interview outfit and make the right first impression, it takes communication with the company or organization you’re interviewing with, followed by careful preparation on your part.
But don’t worry, BambooHR has your back. This HR Questions video explores the full spectrum of interview attire with examples of business professional, business casual, and casual outfits. It also includes several practical tips to help make sure that your clothes, accessories, and actions leave a great first impression as you walk in the front door and greet your interviewer.
Ideally, a job interview should focus on your skills and capacities—not on what you’re wearing. Removing unintentional distractions from what you wear to a job interview clears the way to make real connections that give you a better chance at the job.
Oh, hi I’m Matt. And today I want to help you feel confident and ready for your job interview. So let’s answer the question: What should I wear to a job interview. The first and easiest answer to this question is. . . well it depends. It depends on the people interviewing you, so you need to do your homework. It’s best practice to match your outfit to the organization you’re interviewing with. So, before you go in find out what their dress code is. You could search their website, talk with a friend that works there, or just ask the recruiter working with you. If they’re just casual dress casual, business casual business casual, business professional you get the idea.
Research shows people are more comfortable when they’re dressed alike. Plus it’s a lot easier for interviewers to visualize you working there if you, well, look like you work there. Hey is this where the interview’s at. All right. Looking good.
So, what exactly are the different dress code types? Let’s break them down. As a general rule of thumb a business professional means suits or blazer and dress pants, buttoned down shirts, ties, pant suits or skirts, and nice shoes.
Business casual usually means dress slacks, chinos or khakis, tucked in buttoned down or polo shirts, blouse and dress pants, or a skirt, or maybe a conservative dress and scuff free shoes. When dressing casually for an interview, you can’t go wrong with collard shirts conservative pants, maybe even a comfortable dress, and shoes without too much wear and tear.
If you’re ever in doubt err on the side of over dressing. This may be less than ideal, but over dressing can give the impression that you really care and that’s usually a good thing. Let’s take a minute now to discuss do’s and don’ts. Above all else, do you dress well. Always wear your best outfits.
Research shows that well-dressed employees are more trusted and appear more confident and successful, but also be comfortable. Dressing comfortably reduces stress. So even if you need to wear business professional clothes for an interview, be sure you’re true to yourself and comfortable.
Being uncomfortable is going to increase your stress levels and that’s not going to do you any favors. Are you okay?
Along a similar vein and wear clothes that fit your body well. If you wear clothes that don’t fit well, again, it will show. Hopefully this goes without saying, but make sure you and your clothes are clean. Always appear well groomed freshly bathed and germ free. You want to look sharp not smell sharp. Good hygiene is expected. Poor hygiene is a distraction and leaves a bad impression.
OK. Now let’s discuss the don’ts. Casual doesn’t mean pajamas or gym clothes. It’s still important to look polished and professional no matter what. So leave those clothes at home. Also avoid shorts, hats, flip flops, and if you want to play it safe, jeans. Especially holey jeans. On the flip side just too formal. You can believe the tux and prom dress at home. And despite how attractive you are avoid revealing clothes, low necklines, short skirts, visible underwear, and whatever this guy’s wearing, just . . . just . . . don’t. Also avoid clothing that makes you appear immature.
Really it comes down to this: avoid anything that is distracting. So don’t wear really large accessories or too many accessories, or outdated clothes, flashy clothes, bright neon colors. Don’t wear too much cologne or perfume, or sunglasses on your head, top hats, fake mustaches, etc.