How to Dress for a Job Interview
Determining what to wear for a job interview is very important. You need to make sure it is appropriate for the type of job you are looking at. You don’t always have to wear a suit though as there are times when you can dress business casual. If you are applying for a job in an office or something that is very professional, you do need to wear a suit.
Dressing properly goes a long way in establishing rapport. Perhaps more important is this: Dressing in a way that is perceived as too casual will work against you, hampering any chance of rapport before it has a chance to occur.
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Make sure the suit is a very good fit for you. It should be tailored if it is too tight or too long so that you look crisp and professional in it. A colorful shirt with a matching tie can complete the look that says you are ready to work and that you care about your appearance. Don’t forget to make sure your shoes are shined and clean. They need to match the color of suit that you have on.
If your shoes are not clean and shined, it will detract from the nice suit you’re wearing; much like if you forgot to clean your dirty wheels and tires when you washed your car, it would detract from your clean car’s appearance.
It is acceptable to dress business casual for a variety of jobs. This can include construction, office work, and many others. Business causal, though, doesn’t mean you just show up in jeans and a t-shirt. If you wear jeans, they should be dark in color. Avoid light colored jeans or those with designs on them. Even though tattered jeans are quite trendy these days, don’t wear them to any job interview.
Instead of a t-shirt, wear a button down shirt. This can be long or short sleeved depending on the weather. Avoid wearing shirts, though, that have sayings or logos on them.
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Both the jeans and the shirt you choose to wear need to fit you well. They shouldn’t be too tight and they shouldn’t be baggy and hanging. Make sure you have on nice shoes that are clean when you dress business casual. Don’t show up in sandals or worn out tennis shoes.
How did we get off on a tangent about jeans?? Here’s the thing … in many circles, business casual (a screwy term, at best) does not include jeans.
After you submitted your cover letter worthy of awards, and made the short-list for a job interview, why blow it by dressing down? It could (and should, actually) be interpreted as a lackadaisical attitude toward the position you are interviewing for.
The bottom line when interviewing for a job is this: every Tom, Dick and Harriet wears jeans. The purpose of the entire resume, cover letter and interview charade is to separate yourself from the crowd; to get yourself noticed; to showcase your positive attributes.
Unless you are applying for a job as a ditch digger, do not wear jeans. If you’re not wearing a suit, wear a nice pair of slacks and a collared, button down shirt. And, do not fail to have a pen in your pocket.
How about a Necktie or Jacket?
Here is my rule of thumb: If I expect to be interviewed by someone wearing a tie, I want one too. That goes for a sport coat, as well. If I am going before someone wearing a jacket, I want one too. Why? It’s an equalizer.
When you’re being interviewed, you are already at a disadvantage. You can level the playing field by improving your interviewing skills –which an intelligent person will not leave to chance. Wearing proper attire is another way to help level the playing field.
Do some Recon
If you aren’t sure if you should wear a suit or be business casual for a job interview, call the place and ask. The receptionist should be able to give you some pointers about what is acceptable and what isn’t for their location. If that isn’t something you can do, wear the suit. And, don’t feel funny about it. It is better to be over dressed than under dressed for the job interview. Strut your stuff.
How about you? Forget the necktie, of course. You know how to dress. A jacket is always nice as well. Depending upon where you’re applying, you might consider a conservative shoe. The focal point should not be your super high heels.
Do you have any thoughts on or experience with this? If so, why not share them by commenting below. Please share this article with your friends. Thanks for spending some time here.