An interview is equivalent to game day. You want to perform at your absolute best. This means answering questions effectively, asking smart questions of your own, and using proper body language. In addition to performance though, you’ll want to look your best.
But, in today’s crazy fashion world full of trends, what does this mean? Is the standard navy blue suit/dress outdated? Have patterns taken over solids? Let’s get back to some interview basics and consider how to dress for true interview success.
Two General Rules
Before you pick out your interview outfit and begin to accessorize, you must know two important rules when it comes to interview attire. The first is that you never want your interviewer to remember you because of the clothes you wore on interview day. You want to go remembered because of your skills and experiences – and professional demeanor – but never just for what you wore.
The second rule relates to the idea that many candidates might lean towards wearing more relaxed attire because the nature of the employer. Some employers are definitely more casual than others when it comes to clothing. However, never assume that this is the case and always know that it’s always best to make your first impression a positive one. Thus, rule number two is that it’s always better for a candidate to be overdressed than underdressed.
Colors and Patterns
Many candidates want to play with the colors and patterns of their interview clothing to either convey personality or demonstrate playfulness/fashion sense. Know that you can always do this once you land a job. Prior to getting hired, however, keep clothing on the conservative side.
Solids should win over patterns and neutrals must prevail over brights. Keep patterned clothing to a minimal and opt for solid suits and dresses. Further, choose attire in neutral tones – navy, gray, black, and brown. You can select a brighter color when it comes to ties or scarfs, but ensure the brightness is not over the top and the color still matches your neutral suit/dress.
Research Your Potential Work Environment
Research is a critical key when it comes to interview preparations and one should include it when deciding what to wear on the big day. Consider the firm/business you’re interviewing with. Find some current employers on LinkedIn or on a company website. Look at their attire for possible hints as to what to wear.
Your research goal is to determine if an employer prefers a more formal work environment to a more relaxed environment. If the latter seems to fit the norm, then a more relaxed outfit may be permissible. However, never forget your second general rule – it’s always better for a candidate to go overdressed than underdressed.
The little things do matter when it comes to interview attire. Keep in mind the following when it comes getting yourself ready for game day:
- Ensure your clothing is clean and appropriately pressed
- Never wear an item of clothing that is worn, frayed or ripped
- Make certain your shoes are clean and polished
- Limit your jewelry – for both men and women
Dressing for success is still a huge thing when it comes to interviewing. Don’t ignore or fight this. Proper attire is a fantastic way to show your respect and dedication towards professionalism. Simply follow the above tips and make sure you’re 100% clothing ready for your next employer!