When you begin applying for jobs, you may send out dozens of résumés and complete multiple phone interviews with different levels of HR personnel and department heads before finally landing the in-person interview. The last hoop to jump through: the boss. It pays to look good when you go in for the face-to-face, especially as a young adult right out of college. Here you’ll learn how dressing for a job interview can mean the difference between landing yourself a corner office and having to continue on with your search.
Dress for the Job
Everyone will tell you that you should wear a sharp-looking suit and polished shoes to an interview. There’s merit in that, of course. You can never be overdressed when you’re interviewing for a job—until you are. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear a suit to an interview for a diesel mechanic position. Corporate jobs mean corporate attire, but jobs as a soccer coach or a park ranger may mean something else. Wear nice clothing, but don’t spend money on a new suit if you don’t have to.
The workplace isn’t the place to wear flashy or revealing clothing, and neither is the interview. Everyone must adhere to a level of decorum in the workplace, and conservative attire is always the best way to go for an interview: nothing too loud, nothing too showy, and nothing too over-the-top. The focus should be on your credentials and your résumé, not on your clothing.
Make Sure Your Outfit Is Clean
You’d be surprised at how many people walk into interviews with stains on their shirts. Take the time to make yourself look like a professional. Take your interview clothes to a dry-cleaner and have them cleaned and pressed. Don’t walk into the interview with a wrinkled skirt; it sets a bad first impression.
Remember: Details Matter
Life is all about the little things, and details matter. Set yourself apart from the other applicants with some accents. Simple details—such as a custom-made shirt, a pocket square, or a polished bag—will give you that edge. If you wear jewelry, try not to overdo it. Wear nice pieces, but don’t drape yourself in everything you own. Tasteful is the name of the game when you’re dressing for a job interview.