What to Wear to An Interview to Make a Good Impression
It’s hard to make a good first impression, especially when it comes to potential employers.
What you wear and how you carry yourself plays a big role in helping the decision makers determine whether or not you’ll get your dream job.
It doesn’t matter what position you’re interviewing for, you’ll want to look professional regardless.
But I have good news! You don’t need to buy an expensive new suit or skirt every time you’re presented with a job offering.
We know how hard it can be to re-enter the workforce after quitting your job.
In this post, we’ll tell you exactly what to wear to an interview to land you that job!
What to Wear to an Interview
Walking into McDonald’s with a suit or a skirt is totally unnecessary. Likewise, there’s no need to carry a briefcase with your professional portfolio unless addressed otherwise.
This doesn’t mean you can waltz into the interview wearing ripped jeans and a stained T-shirt.
When it comes to informal interviews, you’ll want to wear business casual.
“What is business casual, though?” you might be thinking.
It’s different for both men and women. Let me explain.
- Tan-colored khaki pants
- Button-down long-sleeved shirt
- Brown (or black) belt
- Tie *optional
Even if you’ll be wearing a polo T-shirt while working, it can be unprofessional to wear to an interview.
Polo T-shirts are often too tight or too loose. You want to look casual, not lazy!
- Tan-colored khaki pants
- Neutral-colored button-down long-sleeved shirt
- Light blazer *optional
While heels are nice, you don’t have to wear them to an informal interview. Some employers will ask you not to wear heels prior to the interview (depending on the environment).
Keep in mind that business casual won’t just be what you wear to an interview. Unless the company you’re interested in has a strict dress code, it may be your daily attire.
Make sure you have a few outfits to mix and match. You should keep your outfits consistent (even if you don’t have to). Meaning, don’t come into work one day of the week in loose or torn up clothes.
What you wear says a lot about you!
Heading to your first professional interview? Congratulations!
Professional interviews can be tougher to prepare for, though.
As always, it’s important to know what to wear to an interview. You may have to go out of our way to buy a new suit or skirt for this one. While you shouldn’t break the bank for one interview, you’ll want to look presentable as well as professional.
Here are a few key elements you’ll want to wear to a professional interview!
- Grey, navy, or black suit
- White long-sleeved shirt
- Matching tie
- Dress shoes
- Nice watch
- Skirt suit (or dress)
- Heels (or flats)
- One bracelet
You should present yourself in a clean manner. (Iron your shirt, get the spaghetti stain out, and clean your shoes.)
You may even want to get a haircut before your interview, especially if it’s all over the place.
Men should trim or shave their beard. (Sorry, guys!)
Don’t forget the details. Trim your nails, wear light perfume or cologne (not too much), and bring a briefcase with your professional portfolio and resume in hand.
If you’re going to wear jewelry, keep it simple. Avoid wearing long earrings and chunky bracelets. Keep in mind: no jewelry is better than cheap jewelry.
Are you still struggling with what to wear to an interview? Here are some more tips to follow.
Don’t Go Overboard When It Comes to Colors
By now, you should know that dressing to impress is key when it comes to making a good first impression with your potential employer.
If you decide to buy a new outfit for this occasion, it’s important to know that some colors can do more damage than good.
Bright, flashy colors may scream “I’m an enthusiast individual who knows how to have fun!” but your potential employer may see it as a childish outfit.
By picking a more neutral color you’re saying “I’m a professional, hard-working individual who can stay composed during times of high stress”.
Colors say a lot about you. It’s important to know what your outfit is saying about your personality.
Some common colors worn are:
- White – Shows truthfulness.
- Brown – Shows you’re calm.
- Black – While this color is worn often, it can portray you as being dramatic.
- Blue – Shows off your confidence.
- Red – Known as the “power” color.
Think back to your last job interview. Did you wear one of these five colors? Did you feel like the colors brought out the best in you?
Now that we’ve gone over how each color signifies you, let’s talk about patterned shirts.
We see it every day in TV shows and movies.
The charming girl (or guy) goes to their interview wearing a nice pinstripe T-shirt with a light blazer and totally nails the interview on spot.
While we’d love to tell you that stripes and patterns work that well in real life, we’re going to be honest: they make you look tacky.
Like bright colors, stripes can be a huge distraction to potential employers. Especially if the patterns on the shirt are multiple colors.
If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll know what to wear to an interview regardless of the setting.
We’ve talked about informal and formal wear, colors, and patterns. By now, you know what to wear to an interview!
All that’s left is to give you some final tips that’ll help you score your dream job.
Make sure you know how to act in front of your potential employer! Manners are everything.
The night before your interview, put your outfit on to ensure it still fits well. Walk around your house a bit to make sure it’s still comfortable.
Remember to ask questions and be direct. Allow your potential employer to understand your cultural background to determine if you’ll fit into the position.
The day of your interview, pop in a breath mint before talking to your potential employer.
Make sure you arrive ten to fifteen minutes early. This will tell everyone that you can show up on time.
Turn off your smartphone or put the ringer on silent.
Cover your tattoos. Some companies don’t allow their employees to show off tattoos at work. Let your potential employer know about your tattoos and find out what the company guidelines are regarding tattoos.
If you have multiple piercings, leave them out for the day. Again, go over the company guidelines to see what’s allowed while on the clock.
To ensure your interview goes as planned, prepare for it the night ahead. You want to impress your potential employer, not bore them to death!
Follow these simple steps and you’ll land the job of your dreams, no problem!