How to Pick Out Clothes for Your Interview

People often often ask about proper interview attire. It was a no-brainer in the old days, when it was all about suits and neckties. But now most companies allow casual clothes. So, what do you wear to interview at a tech firm where employees sport shorts and flip-flops and the only high fashion couture is worn by dogs?

These dos and don’ts will help you decide what to wear, but remember there’s no substitute for good judgment and taste.

Dos

  • Dress to match the company’s dress code, position and your personal brand. For example, it’s probably best to wear a suit if you’re interviewing with the CIO for a leadership position at a bank or law firm. On the other hand, clean, pressed khakis and a collared shirt are probably fine for a mid-tier position in a business casual or start-up environment.
  • Check-out the company’s website, call HR or use social media to find out the proper dress code before deciding what to wear.
  • Wear conservative clothing that suits your body type and covers up body art or piercings, because you never know when you might bump into the CEO in the lobby or an elevator.
  • Opt for something comfortable but appropriate because you won’t be at the top of your game if your belt feels too tight or your feet hurt.

Don’ts

  • Wear bold clothing, outlandish shoes or crazy hair. You don’t want to detract from your skills, experience or personality. Those are the stars of your show.
  • Overlook small details like trimming your nails, wearing coordinating socks or shortening your pants. Interviewers judge a candidate’s detail orientation, preparedness and work quality by observing their personal habits and grooming.
  • Hesitate to seek professional help or outside opinions, instead of selecting an outfit on your own.
  • Worry about being over-dressed. Doing so usually won’t hurt your chances, but everyone will remember about the guy who interviewed in cut-offs and a tee-shirt and wonder what became of him.

Comments

No Responses to “How to Pick Out Clothes for Your Interview”

November 12, 2011 at 1:53 am, Shantal said:

Umm…. what if you happen to be a woman? I don’t know about the khaki pants thing….

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November 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm, Leslie Stevens-Huffman said:

Equivalent dress for women would be slacks or a skirt paired with a sweater, blouse or semi-casual blazer. The key is to dress tastefully and conservatively and leave the high fashion attire for Saturday night.

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