How to Dress for an Interview

There are many things to consider when it comes to making a good impression at an interview. Eye contact and a strong handshake can go a long way to getting that job but don’t underestimate the importance of your outfit. The clothes make the man as they say. So, how should you dress for an interview?

  1. Evaluate the company: If you are interviewing for a corporate career, you will want to be in your best formal workwear. Keep the colors dark and neutral, be clean-shaven, have your hair tended to, and wear appropriate shoes. This is not the time to show how relaxed you are and how you enjoy your favorite jeans or sweatpants. If you are going for a corporate interview, you will want to take how you look out of the equation so they can focus on you, your personality, and your work experience.

    If you are interviewing for a more laid-back job, you will still want to dress for the interview. You should still dress formally, have a clean look, and have proper shoes on. However, you may be able to not wear a formal coat (or you will take it off) or add in a colored shirt. No matter how laid back the culture is, you will still want to dress to impress. You don’t want your clothing to take away from you or say something about you.
  2. Location: If you will be in a plant or have to remove your shoes or coat, you will want to be prepared for this. If you are interviewing outside, this is the time to wear appropriate footwear or bring some with you. If it’s at a restaurant, be ready to sit down and wear proper attire.
  3. Be ready for lunch, for activities, and more: Think about what your interview may include. If you have to go to lunch, wear clothing that is appropriate to the place you are eating as well. You don’t want to be underdressed if they take you to a steakhouse. Or you may be asked to go to a golf course. Make sure you have your shoes and nice golf wear with you. Make sure to ask before the interview if there is anything you need to know or prepare for. Pack your car with a few items just in case. Also, adding to that, make sure your car is clean and appropriate and represents the best you. You don’t want them to suggest taking your car and then panicking to clean and get it ready for your guest.
  4. Know what your interviewer may wear: Get to know your company and the person who is interviewing you. You may notice how they dress, and you should plan to dress like them for the interview. This rule does not apply when you are being interviewed for a super laid-back company. You should still dress on the semi-formal side but not overdress in a suit.
  5. Take a look at the company: See what the other employees wear at the company. Use it as a dress code base, so you know how to prepare your wardrobe for the big day.
  6. Dress for the weather and environment: There may be climate control if you are inside, so you don’t have to worry about overdressing. However, you don’t want to be sweating during your interview due to a jacket or shivering because you didn’t wear enough. You will also want to wear clothes in the case you have to go outside. If it’s warm, have lighter weight layers on; if it’s cold, bring a professional jacket with you and gloves and a scarf. 

With any interview having the proper clothing is just the first step to getting your job. It shows preparation and so many other skills before the interview even gets started. Prepare for anything and pack your car with some extra essentials just in case. Never forget to dress for success!