Having to go for a job interview can be scary, but knowing what attire to wear to an interview will make you feel confident even before the interview starts. It is true that appearances do not affect one's ability to do a job, but presenting yourself in a professional manner will help you get a job. And let’s face it, in this competitive job market, we need all the help we can get.
The trick is not to over or under dress, but rather fit right in. If you look the part, the interviewer will identify with you and get the sense that you will fit in with the company culture. In this blog post, we'll guide you through what attire to wear for different types of job interviews - from corporate settings to start-ups and even virtual interviews.
What to wear for a corporate job interview
They always say, “dress for the job you want, not for the job you have” and this is a mantra to keep in mind if you are going for an interview at a company that is well-known for its corporate dress culture. Think “classic” rather than “trendy”. Keep the lines and colours simple, elegant and professional. Neutral colours and tones always work well and look professional, these include navy blue, black, beige, white and cream. If you are going to wear white make sure it is no see-through.
Make sure your clothing fits well and pay attention to detail, like the state and cleanliness of your shoes and nails.
Do as much research as you can on the company online as some corporates have moved away from corporate wear. You wouldn’t want to arrive in a skirt and killer heels, only to find everyone is in pants and sneakers.
If the corporate culture is more conservative, cover up tattoos and body piercings for an interview. This may create a bad impression on the interviewer.
Attire for an interview at a start-up or small business
Small businesses are mostly more casual than corporates and showing up in a classy suit and tie might not be the best bet. However, be careful not to be too casual and show up in flip flops and ripped jeans. A good balance is “Business Casual”. Rather than thinking of the word casual in the traditional sense, always add the word “business” when it comes to an interview. Sure, you might find yourself dressed a little smarter than the rest of the employees but rather impress at the interview and ease yourself into the super-casual culture once you have started the job.
Business casual can be a smart pair of trousers and a collared shirt or blouse. Neutral tones are always safe unless you are interviewing at a creative agency. Then you can go a bit more crazy.
If a company is in the financial services or legal industry as an example they might be more formal in what they wear. In this case doing research online to look at pictures of the employees will help you get a sense of what the dress code is and what interview attire will be best.
What to wear to a video job interview
If you’re preparing for a video or virtual job interview, Style Consultant Tania de Clerk from Simplify Image recommends that you focus on the details that will be seen on the video camera, and make the extra effort to look good. See some tips below:
- Take extra care with grooming. Not only can a good skin routine give you clear, beautiful skin but it also settles your nerves and gives you a confidence boost.
- Brush and style your hair appropriately.
- If you wear glasses, make sure that they are not creating an extra barrier between you and the interviewer. Ensure your frames are not too heavy and too dark to create a distraction.
- Study the culture of the organisation on line and then mirror what they are wearing. If it’s a suit and tie, do the same. If it’s open necked shirts with a collar then choose wisely.
Dressing up for a video job interview helps build confidence, so it is important to wear that beautiful pair of shoes, even if the camera won’t see it.
What to avoid during job interviews
Be mindful of how low cut your top is, or how see-through it might be and the length of your skirt. Modesty in any job interview is best. Revealing clothes can make an interviewer uncomfortable and leave the wrong impression in their minds.
Err on the side of being conservative in your dress. Huge hoop earrings, luminous colours, bold bright patterns, and individually crafted artwork nails are all things that can distract the interviewer from hearing what value you can add to their company. Tone down on your makeup and jewellery and always remove your headphones unless you require them for a video interview.
Ensure you do not smell of an overpowering perfume, cigarette smoke or sweat. Rather don’t wear perfume if it might be off-putting to an interviewer.
If you have not been to an interview for a while, your “interview” clothes may not fit like they used to. Too tight, too short, or too loose-fitting clothing will not make a good impression. Try your clothes on and make sure you feel good in them.
Dressing appropriately for a job interview will build confidence while also showing respect for the opportunity presented by the employer. Always research the company's dress code before selecting what attire you will wear for the interviewt – this will give you a good idea of how formally or casually you should dress. Take cues from their website, social media pages, blog posts about team outings/events, etc. Furthermore, you can always ask your RecruitAGraduate recruiter for guidance on what’s best to wear.
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