So you want to know what to wear for an interview.
Unfortunately, there is no concrete ‘job interview dress code’ that covers all situations.
But there is such thing as the ‘correct thing to wear’.
What this is though greatly depends on multiple factors.
It is important to identify it because we all know that a benefit of being sharply dressed is that you leave better first impressions.
Looking sharp and correct for the company will get you through that interview and onto their employee roster.
Therefore, you have to make sure that you know how to dress for an interview to get the ‘correct thing to wear’, well, correct.
In this article I will cover 3 ways to determine the ‘correct thing to wear’, how you may want to adjust it, and what NOT to wear.
- 3 ways to determine how to dress for an interview.
- What do the dress codes mean?
- Factors that could adjust what to wear for an interview.
- What NOT to wear for an interview.
1. Identify the company ‘dress culture’
Observe what their current employees are wearing.
You can do this by going into the physical store you are applying to or, or if the job is in a private premises, look on their website.
You should see that there is a common theme.
This is the company ‘dress culture’.
It can be anything from jeans and t-shirts to suits and ties. If you’re going for a job at a nudist hotel, perhaps even nothing!
To decide what to wear for a job interview there, you should look at dressing at or above the ‘dress culture’.
This is especially important in an interview when one of your objectives is to try and show them that you will fit in with the rest of their employees.
The safest thing that you can do it just ask.
It may be the case that they expect you to wear something specific for the interview that has no correlation to their dress culture.
3. Go for the safe option
Okay, I admit, this option is a bit of a cheat.
In this case, you wouldn’t really be determining what to wear for an interview, but just going with something that will likely be correct.
That something is a suit.
Yes, the classic business uniform.
But as I have previously said, it may not be the best thing to wear for an interview you are going to.
But it likely won’t be detrimental.
If you can’t see what the ‘dress culture’ is like, or for some reason can’t (or don’t want to) ask, then you will probably be fine in a suit.
Once you have identified how to dress for an interview you have lined up, you are actually really close to being done with clothing preparation.
All you are required to do once you have a dress code it is wear it and turn up to the meeting.
But perhaps you don’t know exactly what the dress codes mean.
Here are some great resources that could help you:
- Smart casual. (Button down shirt and chinos)
- Business casual. (Blazer, odd trousers and perhaps a tie)
- Business formal. (Suit)
But that’s not the end.
You may want to slightly adjust what you have decided on to maximise your impact in the interview and to put yourself ahead.
The following points detail adjustments you may want to make to your outfit, and why you might want to make them.
Adjustment based on the dress code
Even though you can dress at their ‘dress culture’, I would strongly suggest that you aim to dress on the higher end of the of it.
If the dress code is ‘casual’, the average interview participant will probably wear a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
To up this, you may want to throw on a shawl collar cardigan and some smart shoes to elevate your formality.
You will not appear out of place, but will show that you understand the importance of the occasion and are showing respect for it by putting in the effort.
Adjustment based on the position you are applying for
You may be in the position where you’re auditioning for authority.
If this is the case, then you should definitely dress slightly better than average.
You will come off as a leader.
Adjustment based on the type of interview you are having
As you know, one of the advantages of being better dressed is an increase in the amount of respect that you can command.
When you dress up slightly, others will notice.
If your interview involves working with their team briefly, it is important to make a good impression on them as well as the interviewer. They might have some input on who gets chosen.
Showing them that you’re well put together will make them remember you over all of the other candidates.
This is also true of you know you’re going in for a group interview.
The other members in the group will likely be dressed worse than you, so your appearance alone will contrast with theirs and set you apart.
All eyes will be on you – it will be your time to shine.
You should make sure you use it to your advantage.
So we’ve covered how to dress for an interview.
Now lets cover how not to dress for an interview.
It’s really just a matter of not being sloppy and presenting the best version of yourself.
So, if this is your norm, then you have nothing to worry about.
We talk about the importance of first impressions a lot here at Hero and Villain Style.
If you turn up in stained clothes, what first impression will that send?
That you’re sloppy, unorganised and lazy – unfit for employment.
Smelly clothes (Not too much fragrance too)
One thing that is grosser than stained clothes is smelly clothes.
No one likes a smelly person.
Make sure that you are wearing freshly laundered clothes and that you have had a shower the night or morning before your interview (and that you have put deodorant on!)
Conversely, you may be making an equally as costly mistake by applying a bit of liquid confidence, fragrance.
As always, fragrance is a bit of a gamble, especially so in an interviewing setting.
You would be forgiven for forgoing it all together, as any type of scent could not agree with the interview’s nose and end up working to your determent.
However, one of the benefits of wearing fragrance is that you’ll be memorable, and will act in your favour if the interviewer is a fan of the scent.
If you are going to wear a fragrance, I would recommend something light and fresh such as Mont Blanc Individuel.
Super bold colours
Whatever you end up wearing, unless the position requires it, or you are going into a creative industry, I would stay away from super bold colours.
You want to be taken seriously upon arrival.
Although wearing that favourite pink tie of yours may show that you have confidence, it is better to be safe than sorry.
When you get the job, then you can bring out your technicolor dream coat.
The wrong attitude
Wearing the wrong attitude will cross you off their list quicker than anything visual will.
Don’t be entitled. Don’t be a smart ass. Don’t be rude.
It’s not only what you’re wearing that you should be paying attention to.
Your grooming speaks as loud as you clothing.
If you have mad scientist hair, it won’t bode well.
Make sure you are well groomed, have had a hair cut recently, and have styled it appropriately.
Conclusion – What to Wear for an Interview
So now you have all of the information about what to wear for an interview.
Knowing how to dress for an interview properly will put you in front of a lot of guys who wing it and leave it to chance.
They don’t take advantage of the preparation time they have to maximise their impact in the meeting.
But you have.
Following this guide, you now have all of the information on how to dress for an interview you have coming up to get the job.