The excitement of receiving the news of being called for a job interview can quickly be replaced by a moment of panic when you think, “What am I going to wear?” This is an important consideration because an interview is typically the first time you will be seen by someone from the company and as we all know, first impressions are very important.
In a crowded job market it’s important to not only make a good impression through your skills but also in how you present yourself in person. This means that your clothing, accessories and application of make-up, perfume or cologne should not overshadow your work skills and personality.
Subtle and classic clothing choices are still the best when it comes to choosing what you’ll wear for an interview, but depending on the industry that you are interviewing for, a suit may not be as critical as it once was. When it comes to picking an interview outfit, women certainly have a greater range of options than men. Depending on the season, a female might choose to wear either dark-colored pants or a skirt. No matter which you choose, make sure that the item of clothing fits well and is cleaned and pressed. Top the skirt or pants with a classic button-down shirt and blazer or a V-neck sweater or cardigan and modest black heels or flats. Don’t be afraid to add in color or pattern to your outfit but make sure that they do not inhibit your ability to present yourself as a polished and noteworthy candidate.
Because of the relatively steady nature of men’s fashion, a suit remains a solid choice for most interviews. This could be a single-breasted navy blue or dark gray suit in a seasonal fabric. Suits should be worn with a button-down shirt and perhaps a tie with a subtle pattern. A tie is typically the first thing that’s noticed in a man’s outfit so make sure the pattern is appropriate and not a distraction to the interviewer. For men who are interviewing in a more casual work environment, a nice blazer and pressed slacks can sometimes substitute for a suit. If you are in doubt as to the expectations of the work environment, it never hurts to ask the interviewer what you should wear. It’s always better to be overdressed and more professional than underdressed and too casual.
An interview is your first and sometimes last chance to make a great in-person impression so choose your interview outfit with care. For some ideas, go online and search the phrase “interview outfit” or visit Pinterest for some inspiration. Once you have an outfit in mind, try it on prior to the interview. This allows you to know if something is too tight or uncomfortable before you are sitting in front of an interviewer. Dressing well for an interview demonstrates that you also know how to present you and your potential employer in the best possible light.
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.