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What Your Should and Should Not Wear to a Job Interview

When preparing for a job interview, one detail you will not want to overlook is your work attire. What you wear to the interview will inform the hiring manager how seriously you take the interview and a glimpse into how professional and polished of a candidate you would be. Here are some key things to consider…


What Not to Wear

In a humorous article in the Wall Street Journal they write of some of the worst outfits candidates have worn to interviews, to include a full Elizabethan theatrical outfit (including makeup) and someone who showed up to the interview with their tie in a literal knot. They also write of another candidate’s outfit saying, “We had a candidate that we didn’t even send to the interview. He didn’t get his suit tailored; instead he stapled the cuffs at the bottom of his suit pants, He hemmed it himself, in other words. Dress code was very important to that client, so we knew that they would not have been happy with us if we sent him. We did continue to work with the candidate and had a conversation with him. But you have to ask yourself: if they’re making that kind of faux pas, what other mistakes could they make?”


What You Should Wear

When in doubt always lean on the side of more conservative and polished vs. casual attire. You want to look professional, have your outfit cleaned and wrinkle-free, and also wear something you feel comfortable in, so you are not adjusting and tugging at your outfit. If you don’t normally have your clothes dry cleaned, now is the time to do so, along with spending time on your personal hygiene. You want your nails and hair to also look clean and tidy. It can be helpful to learn more about the company culture ahead of time so you have a sense if they are the type of company to wear suits to the office or jeans and a button-up. In an article on Forbes, they write, “The company website and social media pages are your friend. Look the company up to see what employees wear to work, and dress slightly more formal than the norm. Take cues from the company culture. If it’s a creative or casual environment, you can add a touch of personal style while still maintaining a polished and professional appearance. And if you’re unsure about the dress code, don’t hesitate to reach out to the company’s HR department. This is the one time they might be useful.” In an article on Indeed, they give some helpful specifics on what you should wear depending on the company culture. They break-down the best outfits to wear depending on if the office environment is casual, business casual, or business formal.