What to wear to a job interview might sound basic, and maybe quite often taken for granted. However if you’ve been out of employment for a while or have been in the same role for a while and haven’t had an interview for many, many years, or maybe this is your first ever interview, it can be confusing.
Some companies have a strict professional code on what they expect their employees and prospective employees to wear – suits, ties, dresses, skirts, blouses and blazers. Others are much more casual – jeans, trainers, t-shirts and hoodies. And some can be somewhere in between. Companies that are largely operational may require most staff to wear uniforms or overalls and safety equipment. So its easy to see why it can be a stressful decision.
How to decide what to wear to a job interview
Firstly, check the email or the letter you received inviting you to interview. Does it mention or suggest any type of dress code on there? It might not. Consider the company culture and general dress code, however I would always opt for smart over casual when it comes to a job interview. Even if you turn up and see another candidate in jeans, it shows you’re keen, made an effort and really thought about the interview, took it seriously and acted professionally.
If the company is extremely corporate – definitely go with a suit, tie, or smart dress or trousers, blazer, smart shirts and smart, clean shoes.
The company may be more casual, in this case I personally would still dress office smart.
You can perhaps tone down the corporate level dress code if you know it really isn’t that type of culture, but I would still recommend dressing smart. For example, a dress, smart trousers, blouse/shirt or smart top and again smart shoes. Use your judgment on how smart you feel is appropriate.
If you know there will be getting a tour of the site, wear shoes you can walk in comfortable. If you know you will need to go outside for whatever reason as part of the recruitment process again make sure you take a smart jacket or coat, don’t take a casual jacket or a hoodie. First impressions are important.
The employer may specifically say you can dress casual, that’s fine. I would still air on the side of caution and dress smart/casual meaning no hoodies or trainers. You never know.
Obviously, as well as deciding on what to wear to a job interview, make sure you’re clean and fresh and ready to dazzle the interviewer.
If you get to the interview and feel overdressed, don’t let it embarrass you or feel like you interpreted the situation wrong. Take pride in how seriously you’re taking the opportunity and how professional you are from the very start and carry that into your interview.
And finally, good luck!
Over to you
Whats your biggest question when it comes to how to dress for a job interview? Let me know in the comments below.
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