The common saying goes something like “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” and this is particularly true when it comes to job interviews. In the end, a job interview is nothing more than an opportunity to present yourself in the best possible light, without fabricating outlandish claims.
Coming into an interview dressed appropriately for the role shows that you put the necessary effort into understanding the company’s culture. It is one of the primary purposes of the face-to-face interviews, after all – to see whether you will be a good fit at the company. Besides, dressing up accordingly for the role will also give you a confidence boost.
But keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules anymore when it comes to the interview dress code. While some companies expect you to be in a suit, others have a more relaxed dress code, where the suit would be out of place. So, how can you tell the difference and be prepared every time?
Translating the Terminology for an Interview
During your job-hunting process, you may come across terms such as business professional, business casual, or casual. These will help you determine what to wear in the interview but will not be useful if you don’t know what they entail.
- Business Professional – Within such a company, suits are the norm. Men are expected to wear a suit jacket or blazer, suit pants, button-down shirts, and dress shoes. Women might wear a skirt or a pantsuit with heels.
- Business Casual – Women might wear a blouse with a skirt or dress pants and dress shoes/boots. Adversely, a conservative dress could also work. Men, on the other hand, could opt for a button-down shirt/polo shirt, dress slacks/chinos, and dress shoes.
- Casual – For men, a long-sleeved dress shirt, khaki pants, and dress shoes would work fine. For women, a work dress or a collared shirt with a pencil skirt or pants will suffice. Though casual, in an interview this doesn’t mean street clothes.
Tips for Dressing Appropriately in an Interview
- Research – Researching the company will give you plenty of insight. Look for photos or videos of employees on the company website or social media channels. Ask a friend or someone who works there about the dress code.
- One Level Above – A general rule of interview dress codes is that you should dress one level above to what staff members wear daily. So, if employees dress casually; dress business casual in the interview. You can go a bit less formal at your second interview.
- Keep it Simple – Though your clothes will have an impact during the interview, the focus should remain on you. With that in mind, it’s best that you take the simple approach to your attire and not let it be a distraction. Go easy on the jewelry, makeup, hairstyle, or showing off too much skin. Stay away from extravagant colors or patterns.
- Focus on the Details – That said, you shouldn’t be boring either. A classic handbag or briefcase can go a long way, making you look stylish and organized. Likewise, make sure you look polished. Your clothes shouldn’t be worn, wrinkled, stained, or ill-fitting. Also, consider having a small grooming kit with you for those last-minute touch-ups. Lastly, don’t overdo it with the perfume – in some cases, it might not even be needed.
Last, but not least, you should try your outfit on before the day of the interview to make sure that everything is as it should. MyComputerCareer is an organization that helps people start or advance their IT career. We also help our candidates ready themselves for hiring, by helping them out with their resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviewing. For more information, contact us today!
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