What to wear for the Job Interview?
We’ve become a culture that embraces a casual look, but the old rule of dress to impress remains valid. Not yet convinced? Consider it only takes seven seconds to make a first impression. The initial impression is solidified in less time than it takes for an interviewer to greet a candidate.
When Moments Count
Like it or not, the way we look is a big part of first impressions. How you look and act in the first couple moments of meeting someone new directly impacts their overall impression. Because it can be difficult to know the “right” way to dress for a job interview, it’s always best to error on the side of business attire, unless the company specifically requests casual attire for the interview.
Professional dress helps convey an individual is competent, organized and capable. Being professionally dressed not only looks nice, it is a surefire way to instill confidence in yourself that will translate to others.
Breaking Down the Code
Business Professional – Here suits are the norm for women and men. Women will wear a jacket and coordinating pants or skirt. Men will pair a blazer or suit jacket with a button-down shirt, dress pants, a tie and dress shoes.
Business Casual – A small step away from the formality of Business Professional but still refined. Men can wear dress slacks or chinos with a button-down shirt and dress shoes. A jacket and tie are optional. Women will wear a conservative dress or a blouse/sweater with dress pants, and dress shoes or boots.
Casual – Jeans in a dark wash, cords or khakis are allowed but they need to be paired with professional accents such as blouses/sweaters and jackets for women and polo shirts or button-down shirts for men. Dresses or a collared shirt with pants or a pencil skirt are also good options for women.
Dressing for Success
- Do your research in advance to determine a company’s dress code
- Understand it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed for an interview or meeting
- Watch the details and never wear wrinkled, stained, ripped or ill-fitting clothing
- Avoid wearing perfume or cologne
- Choose simple jewelry, makeup, hair styles and clothing
- Invest in a classic bag to carry interview materials
- Leave the phone in your car
- Plan a trial run before the day of the interview
Putting it All Together
With a little advance preparation and practice, it’s easy to nail the right interview look. When the day arrives, pair your look with a smile, a firm handshake and a confident greeting to introduce yourself.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.