Getting an interview is the first step towards getting a job. After all the hard work involved in creating a CV, going through the application process and sharpening your skills, the interview is your chance to impress a prospective employer firsthand. For that reason, it is very important to put careful thought into what to wear for an interview.
Assess the Climate of the Company
The first step in choosing attire for a job interview is to assess the climate of the company. If you are applying for a position with a business where suits and ties are the norm, then expect to dress accordingly for the interview. In a more casual setting, such as a start up company, dress pants and a button-up shirt may be more appropriate. For jobs that require employees to wear a uniform, like security positions, a suit is still a good choice for the interview because it projects a professional appearance. Jobs that involve working outdoors, like landscaping, require neat clothing like dress pants or khaki pants and a collared shirt.
Choosing a Suit for a Job Interview
If you can afford it, invest in a tailored suit that you can use just for interviews. A well-fitted suit projects confidence. Choose a neutral colour like navy, black, or grey and a complementary shirt. Ties should also be neutral and not feature heavy patterns. If you cannot buy a new suit, search for a secondhand suit and take it to a tailor to have it fitted to your size. Be sure to have the suit and shirt pressed before the interview so it does not have any wrinkles. Take the time to shine your shoes before going to the interview. Attention to small details lets your potential employer know the job is important to you.
for a Casual Interview
Companies with a more casual atmosphere may accept a less formal style for interview attire. In that case, you should still wear a pair of neatly pressed dress pants or khakis. Pair them with a collared button up shirt, or formal sweater if the weather is cooler. Choose pieces that fit well and avoid flashy colours or patterns. Top your pants with a neutral leather belt and wear matching dress shoes. If possible, get a look at whether or not the other employees wear ties and base your decision to wear a tie based on that information.
Accessorising for a Job Interview
In general, avoid wearing too many accessories to a job interview. You do not want your ensemble to distract from the conversation. Wearing a watch is fine, but anything more looks too flashy. A briefcase is an acceptable professional accessory that allows you to carry copies of your CV, references, and other relevant items. In keeping with the neutral tone, choose a briefcase that matches your suit.
Grooming and Preparing
The final step in getting ready for a job interview is personal grooming. Men should have a neat haircut. For men with longer hair, tie it back securely before going in for the interview. Keep facial hair to a minimum, if possible, with beards and moustaches kept neatly groomed. A small amount of aftershave is a good idea, but do not go overboard.
Getting an interview is exciting, but it can also be intimidating. When you know how to dress for an interview, you can go to your meeting feeling confident. If you put as much thought into your interview attire as you did into trying to get the job you will start things off on the right foot and make a lasting good impression.