How to dress for an interview? Basic rules
What clothes you choose for a job interview is an important issue, especially if you want the interview to be successful and result in employment. You may think that there is nothing complicated in choosing the right outfit. However, it is important to be aware that there are details that can influence the first impression of a potential new employer. In this case, it has to be said that appearance matters!
During the interview, apart from substantive preparation, self-presentation is important, which includes your body posture, voice, facial expression, and external appearance. This short guide will tell you how to dress for a job interview. Below you will find an extension to the following topics:
- The outfit for the interview should be adapted to the job you are applying for.
- The color of your outfit for a job interview is important.
- Adapt your clothes to the weather.
- Convenience and comfort.
- Job interview: women’s outfit.
- Job interview: men’s outfit.
- Summary – how to dress for an interview?
The interview outfit should be adapted to the job you are applying for.
This statement seems obvious. Wherever you go for an interview, your attire should show that you care about the job.
What does appropriate clothing show during a job interview? Respect for the interlocutor, your commitment, presenting your personality and character.
The recruiter does not know you personally and must assess whether you are the right person for the position. He makes a decision based on a short conversation. The first, subconscious evaluation of each candidate takes place during the first 10 seconds of the meeting. It’s worth taking care of a good first impression. It is good practice to familiarize yourself with the company’s general dress code and the position for which you are applying. Check if there is a dress code. A properly selected outfit will help you make a good first impression on your future employer.
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What to wear for an interview?
If you are wondering how to dress for an interview in the office, it is best and safest to choose business or casual smart clothes. This is a sure option that emphasizes your professionalism. To create an impeccable, showing commitment, competence, and confidence outfit for a job interview, it is worth choosing classic elegance. The dress code for the meeting should be formal and neutral. The higher the position you are applying for, the more formal your dress code should be.
A jacket, shirt, and elegant shoes will be a very good and proven solution for almost every job interview. Women often choose high heels. If you choose to do so, make sure they cover your toes and heels. Instead of high heels, choose shoes with heels of a maximum of 7 cm. If you value comfort, you can choose shoes with a flat sole. Examples of suitable types of footwear are lords, moccasins, oxfords, Chelsea boots, ballerinas, and pumps. Remember that shoes made of shiny material are definitely less elegant.
If you choose a suit, remember the rules for wearing it. When you are standing, the jacket should be buttoned up one button. You unbutton your jacket when you sit down.
Another important rule about the dress code for an interview is modesty. The same rule applies to both women and men. Shoes should cover the toes. You should choose blouses and dresses with a straight cut, without large necklines and covering the shoulders, and the length of the skirt should not be shorter than knee length. A smart pencil skirt is a good choice, which goes perfectly with a white shirt. Tights cannot stand out: they should be without patterns, preferably in the color of the body. A good solution will be to choose an elegant set, suits, suits or a jacket and cigarillos pants, creased pants.
What if you are facing recruitment for a non-office position? Universal rules still apply to an interview in a clothing store, at a car repair shop, for an artistic position in the creative industry. The main principles remain neatness, professionalism, and modesty. The difference, compared to office or official positions, is the greater freedom that allows you to show your personality. Of course, professionally, without going overboard.
How to dress for a store interview clothing? You can show your sense of style and good taste. This will prove that you will be able to provide professional advice to clients. For the employer, it will be a signal that you will help clients in choosing their styling.
Whichever outfit you choose, remember that it should be comfortable. In uncomfortable clothes or shoes, you will not be able to focus on your task and present yourself well.
What styles will be the most appropriate?
When choosing a style, remember that minimalism and simplicity always work. Choose classic cuts of clothes that are not too close to the body. You can emphasize the styling with matching accessories, e.g. a belt. Blouses with an unusual cut or delicately decorated will look interesting.
A timeless “business” skirt cut is a pencil skirt. It looks very formal and elegant at the same time. The shirt for such a skirt should be tucked inside. Another cut, fashionable for several seasons, is a pleated skirt.
All unusual styles will not look good at an interview.
When it comes to dresses, a similar rule applies. Choose elegant dresses in muted colors. You can match them with a jacket or jacket. The best sleeve length is long or rękaw.
What accessories, hairstyle for a job interview?
Your makeup should be delicate, use nude colors or soft and light colors. First of all, take care of your complexion. You should give up on strong contouring, you can use a small amount of powder and blush. Instead of putting on false eyelashes, go for mascara. Make sure you look neat: Your nails should be rather short, neat, and neutral in color. As for the hairstyle, the best solution, according to specialists, is a bun or an elegant ponytail. The hairstyle should be neatly combed so that the hair does not fall into your eyes. You can use hair pins or hairspray for this. Take care that the hair accessories are not conspicuous.
Pay attention to the details of the dress code. You can wear delicate accessories, such as small earrings or a modest bracelet. Match the suit with tasteful cufflinks or a tie of an unusual color. Think about perfumes that can also express your professionalism. They must be delicate and unobtrusive. Men are not advised to wear any jewelry during an interview. An exception may be the wedding ring.
What should I avoid wearing an interview uniform?
Referring to the previous paragraphs, it can be summarized that you should not choose clothes for a job interview:
- excessively revealing,
- dirty, wrinkled,
- everyday (e.g. tracksuits, jeans),
- shoes with exposed toes and heels, very high heels, sports shoes, dirty shoes,
- shirts with short sleeves.
A bad interview dress code is an easily avoidable mistake.
To sum up the rule:
It is most important that your interview dress code matches the nature of the company you want to work for. Additionally, the outfit should be modest, neat, and elegant. It should inspire respect and trust, express commitment, self-confidence, and willingness to work. Pay attention to details. Always assume that it is better to wear too elegant than too everyday.
The color of the outfit for an interview is important.
In addition to the type of outfit, the color of your outfit is extremely important. Elegant clothing will not fulfill its function if the colors are not appropriate to the situation. They are also designed to inspire greater trust and respect and give the impression of professionalism. They can tell a lot about the character of a person.
What color should I choose for an interview?
For an interview for an office job or a higher position, it is best to choose clothes in neutral, rather dark shades of brown, gray, navy blue, dark green, black. Remember that when choosing very dark colors, it is worth lightening the outfit a little with a light top, e.g. a white blouse or jacket.
Colors should be neutral and not disruptive to the conversation. Individual colors are assigned a personality type:
- black is usually assigned to people in power, authorities,
- gray is associated with an analytical mind, typically the business,
- white is assigned to neat, caring people for order,
- navy blue is associated with loyal people working in a team.
Which colors should not be chosen for an interview outfit?
When choosing your outfit for an interview, do not choose clothes with flashy patterns, smooth fabrics look better.
For work in an office or office, do not choose bright, flashy colors. They will be associated with the candidate’s lack of professionalism. Color must not distract the recruiter from you and your statements.
To sum up the rule:
The color of your outfit can affect how you will be received by the recruiter at the interview. It is best to choose subdued colors (e.g. navy blue, black, brown) and clothes without clear patterns. You can choose bright colors only for certain recruitments (e.g. in the arts sector).
Adapt your clothes to the weather.
When you choose your outfit for an interview, there may be a problem with the weather. Can I wear a dress without tights in summer? Which interview dress is appropriate? Is it appropriate to wear a sweater in winter? What to do with the jacket after entering the room? How to dress for an interview in summer and how in winter? These and other questions are answered below.
How to dress for a summer interview?
In summer, even if it is very hot, you should wear elegant clothes, such as a shirt, jacket, etc. Women according to the dress code should not give up tights with dresses or skirts. It’s best to choose those in a neutral color. Shoes should cover toes and heels. Remember that the dress cannot be too short and the neckline should not be too big. Shoulders should be covered.
Moreover, pay attention to the type of fabric your clothes are made of for the interview. To ensure greater comfort in summer, clothes made of natural materials, e.g. cotton, linen, are a good option. They are breathable, so you won’t sweat excessively in such materials. Choose clothes that will eliminate the feeling of discomfort in high temperatures.
Makeup is an important issue. It can’t be too strong. Additionally, in hot weather, make sure that it still looks good after a few hours. For example, you can use a light BB cream or powder and avoid heavy fluid or foundation. It is worth introducing minor corrections before the meeting: matt the face using powder, matting papers, or just a handkerchief. A practical haircut for an interview in the summer is hair in a bun or a ponytail.
What clothes for a winter interview?
The rules of elegant clothing also apply in winter. If you wear a skirt, wear tights, but remember that thick, woolen ones are not very elegant. Follow the rule that tights should not be conspicuous: choose the ones with a thickness of 6-20 den. This can be a problem in winter, especially if you are traveling by bus or on foot. Therefore, in this case, elegant fabric pants will be the perfect solution.
When it comes to men’s outfit for a winter interview and in summer, a jacket and a shirt remain the most appropriate option. If you are afraid that you will be cold, instead of a sweater, put on a T-shirt under an elegant, ironed shirt, which will be invisible, and you will feel comfortable. You can also wear a matching black or white turtleneck under the jacket.
Shoes are an important and noticeable element of styling. In winter, they should not be massive boots, snow boots, or boots with thick soles. They look unprofessional and informal. Stay with elegant slippers, Jodhpur boots, leather boots with little heels.
When going to a job interview, instead of a quilted or down jacket, you can choose an elegant coat that will complement your elegant outfit. Take care of accessories and opt for an elegant scarf.
Once you arrive at the company’s premises, do not carry your coat and scarf everywhere. Make sure not to keep it on your lap while talking. You should hang it on a hanger or ask at reception for a place to leave your outerwear.
To sum up the rule:
Interview outfits in summer and winter must fit the main dress code rules. Choose your outfits so that they look professional and at the same time are comfortable and functional.
Job interview: clothes versus convenience and comfort.
One last rule that is as important as the others: Your comfort and convenience during the interview are very important.
Of course, you have to be smart at a formal meeting. However, this does not change the fact that if you wear uncomfortable clothes or shoes for several hours, you are not able to fully concentrate on the interview. Thinking about uncomfortable clothes will deepen your nervousness and will be visible to our interlocutor. It is best not to put on new items of clothing: use proven clothes.
Pay attention to the type of fabric. Choose those that look good and are elegant, such as natural materials such as silk, crepe, wool, tweed, leather shoes, and handbags.
Sum up the rule:
Pay attention to convenience and comfort, especially in stressful situations. Uncomfortable items of clothing affect your well-being and concentration.
Job interview: women’s outfit.
When creating your outfit, you can get inspired by the interview outfits presented below.
- Navy blue smooth midi skirt;
- light blue soft fabric shirt;
- medium heel slippers;
- light gray long wool coat;
- black shopper bag;
- makeup in natural colors;
- hair in a bun.
Job interview: men’s outfit.
An example set that can become your suit for a job interview.
- Light gray suit;
- white shirt;
- dark burgundy tie;
- black leather oxfords.
Summary – how to dress for an interview?
Our tips will be valuable for anyone who goes to their first interview, as well as for people who want to broaden their knowledge of dress code and dress code for formal meetings and knowledge of how to dress elegantly. Remember that you only get one chance at an interview to make a good impression. Appropriate clothing is one of the components of success, a necessary element of proper self-presentation. An impeccable, elegant outfit will perfectly complement your image. There are many elements to success and it is up to you how you use your abilities to achieve it.