Suit, blazer, shift dress, smart-casual, Converse: What should you wear to a job interview? Here’s how to decide what to wear for your next big job interview.
Finding your perfect job interview outfit is crucial to your success. It’s not all about how you look, either: a great outfit can improve how you feel and boost your confidence.
But how do you decide what to wear for an interview – and how should you dress?
How formal is the company?
The very first point to note is what type of company you’re interviewing at. You might find you need two interview outfits: one for formal organisations and one for more casual ones. Banking, law and other professionals services firms still have a relatively formal approach to workwear – but other sectors such as tech and social media typically favour a more relaxed look.
Browse employers’ corporate and careers websites as well as their social media pages to get an idea of the level of formality at their organisations. Note what staff in any photos are wearing, and take your outfit one step up from that to make it interview appropriate.
Suit rules for job interviews
If you’re planning to interview in a suit there are a few basic rules to follow that apply to all genders. First, even if you can only afford a suits right now make sure it fits properly. That includes the length of your trouser legs and jacket sleeves as well as a good fit across your back and shoulders. Second, avoid a black suit if you can. These have a bit of a ‘funeral’ air about them – a neutral colour like navy or dark grey can lift your appearance without being garish.
If your interview is at a formal and traditional company, wear a tie. You don’t have to wear a tie to less formal interviews.
Pick a single eye-catching accessory
From a bright pocket square in your suit jacket to a statement necklace that complements your dress, one noticeable accessory adds personality to a sea of suits and interview outfits. It’ll help interviewers remember you – and shows you’re a confident individual willing to stand out.
Avoid lots of fussy buttons and accessories
However, try not to wear any fussy buttons or jewellery – especially if you get nervous. Fiddling with dangly earrings or triple-button cuffs is distracting and ruins your smooth and confident exterior.
Outfits with lots of accessories or decoration are also distracting: you want to stand out to the interviewers, but they need to remember you (and not your sequin jacket).
Wear comfortable shoes if you can
If you get taken on a tour of the large office block you could be working in, you don’t want to be wincing in pain with every step. You may look great in those winklepickers or your stiletto Blahniks, but if you can’t stand and walk comfortably in them it’ll cause you distress.
The worst thing you can do when attending an interview is willingly add to a stressful situation! It’ll up your anxiety, distract you, and prevent you from presenting your best self.
Iron your outfit!
Iron your outfit the night before and hang it up somewhere it won’t crease. If you have to sneak away from your current job in the middle of the day for your interview, try to wear an outfit to work that’s suitable for an interview (or is easy to add a smart jacket / blazer, tie, and shoes to later on).
Top tip: in most cases, non-iron shirts can still do with a quick ironing…trust us!
Don’t forget your hair (and make-up)
It’s so easy to get so distracted by what clothes to wear hair (and make-up) if often neglected. If you have time, visit your hairdresser or barber a few days before your interview for a fresh cut. Don’t opt for a brand-new style: now’s not the time to experiment with a new colour. A simple trim or a cut and blow dry should be more than enough.
Guys, if you’ve got facial hair make sure it’s tidy with no huge stragglers sticking out to give you an unkempt look! And ladies keep make-up subtle and leave the smokey eyes and indeed fake nails for club nights.
By Sanu Miah, Founder