Did you know that the average job-seeker spends about five months hunting for a job? Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make yourself a more impressive candidate, such as dressing appropriately. Although it takes little time or effort, only a few people wear the proper attire to interviews.
By learning how to dress professionally, you'll stand out the next time you meet a potential employer, increasing your chances of getting the position you seek.
In this article, we'll review the importance of proper interview attire. Then, we'll dive into some tips to help you build a professional wardrobe. After reading them, you'll know what to wear to an interview and be ready for your next sit-down with a potential employer.
The Importance of Proper Interview Attire
Job interviews are all about showing prospective employers who you are. Your clothes reflect your values, personality, and professionalism. Moreover, wearing clothes that are clean, well-fitting, and up-to-par with the occasion will boost your confidence and help you feel comfortable.
When your interview outfit is suitable, you have one less thing to worry about. As a result, you'll be able to focus more of your attention on building rapport with the recruiter, answering the interview questions, and demonstrating the skills and qualities that make you a good candidate.
Thus, even when attending a video interview over Zoom, it's best to dress up as you would if the meeting was in-person. The hiring manager may not see what kind of slacks you wear, but you'll know you look professional, and that will give you confidence.
How to Determine What to Wear
Deciding what to wear to an interview may seem complicated, especially if you need to learn more about the company culture. Doing a little bit of research before the interview can help you determine the dress code at the office and plan your attire accordingly. Usually, businesses have one of the following dress codes:
- Business professional
- Business casual
If the business is large enough, you may be able to find their company dress code online. If not, visit the company’s website or social media, paying particular attention to the work environment in the pictures. Notice what other employees are wearing or how they represent themselves online. This will give you clues as to how formal the environment is. Still, if it's a startup, you may not be able to find this information.
As a rule of thumb, it's better to show up to an interview overdressed than underdressed. So, if you aren't sure what to wear, go for a business formal look! Another great way to clarify doubts is to ask about the dress code when scheduling the initial interview.
What to Wear to Your Next Interview
By now, you should know what dress code you are expected to follow at your job interview. Keep reading for details about each so you can plan a suitable outfit.
For a Business Professional Interview
If you're interviewing for an office job or a role in a skilled field, chances are you'll need to follow the business professional dress code.
You'll want to pull out your best solid-colored dark suit for your interview. If it's been in the back of the closet for a while, consider dry-cleaning or ironing it.
Choose a solid-colored or subtle printed dress shirt and a matching tie. Avoid busy patterns or bright colors. Instead, try a solid, dark-colored necktie, and make sure you know how to tie it. If you’d like, polish off your look with an elegant tie bar.
Brown or black patent leather dress shoes with laces are best, but make sure to give them a polish and shine.
For a Business Casual Interview
Business casual is the most common professional attire and is usually a safe interview choice. Although you don't need to wear a suit jacket, you should stick to dress pants and a button-down shirt. In some workplaces, polo shirts are also acceptable.
We recommend solid dress shirts and navy blue or grey slacks for interviews. If you choose to wear a necktie, make sure it matches your outfit and isn't too bold.
During colder months, add a pullover sweater or cardigan over your dress shirt. Complete this look with a tie, which prevents it from looking overly casual.
You could also wear a navy blazer or sport coat with navy or khaki slacks. Another alternative is a textured blazer, such as tweed or corduroy. This piece is sophisticated and is bound to make you look confident.
Alternatively, you could wear a light-colored suit since it keeps your outfit more formal but isn't over the top.
When deciding whether or not to wear a tie, consider the company culture. If it's more formal, go for the necktie and make sure it is conservative, such as checkers, stripes, or solid. You can't go wrong with a necktie in more casual environments and can even wear bolder designs. Lastly, avoid bow ties for job interviews.
For a Casual Interview
You can wear smart casual attire if you're interviewing for a job in a relaxed environment or a blue-collar position. Opt for a button-up shirt with dress pants in neutral colors.
As for shoes, oxfords, loafers, or other dress shoes are always a good idea. Dark colors are best, such as black or brown in leather or suede materials.
If it's warm out and you know that the company's dress code is casual, you can wear a polo shirt instead. However, you'll need to wear khaki chinos to give your outfit a professional look.
No matter what the job, never wear your everyday clothing to an interview, even when casual looks are acceptable. Here's what not to wear to an interview, no matter how casual the company is:
- Blue jeans
- Flip-flops or Crocs
Moreover, you should always tuck your shirt into your pants, even for casual dress codes. This simple practice makes you appear more professional, especially when you wear a belt. Your belt should be leather and match your shoes.
Lastly, you'll want to consider your socks. In most situations, your interviewer won't see them, but just in case, you'll want to ensure they match the rest of your outfit. If your pants are navy blue, your socks should be this color, too.
Although patterned socks with fun designs are popular, avoid them at your interview. You don't want your interviewer to remember you as the guy who wore cartoons on his socks. So, stick to stripes, checks, and solids that match your outfit.
Wow Your Interviewer with PRIME Neckwear
Your interview clothes can help you make a great first impression. Follow the interview tips in this post and dress for success. By doing so, you'll shorten your job search and get hired a lot faster!
If you're building your professional wardrobe, we can help! PRIME neckwear has all the neckties and accessories you need to look your best at your interview. You'll look great, and your job interviewer will be convinced of your professionalism.