Dressing for a Job Interview

Original article "Dressing for a Job Interview"by the authors of best-job-interview.com

Summary: Your aim is to project a professional and capable image whatever position you are interviewing for.

If you are serious about getting the job you want you will focus on interview clothes that send the right career message.

Consider these key aspects when dressing for a job interview.

The style of your interview clothes

“Style is synonymous with the appropriate.”

Often job candidates are unclear about what is appropriate interview clothing. The style of the candidates' clothing choice speaks loudly about their capability to correctly assess the job requirements.

Formal business wear is usually appropriate for a job interview. This means a business suit or matched skirt and jacket for women.

Most workplaces also consider a pantsuit or matched pants and blazer as appropriate formal business attire. Complete the outfit with closed-toe shoes, a smart blouse, understated jewelry and make-up.

Dressing for a job interview - Men

For men a formal business environment generally means a suit, shirt and tie. A suit with matching coat and pants is the standard professional look.

The style should be single-breasted and traditional. Designer suits that are highly fitted are generally inappropriate for a formal interview situation. Suits should be plain with no fancy buttons, stitching, or special trim.

What to wear to a casual job interview?

If you know that the company you are interviewing for has a more casual dress code then go for a smart but less formal look.

For women this means well tailored pants and a blouse, a smart dress or a well coordinated skirt and blouse. Get help with dressing for an interview in a less formal style using the ideas and advice at casual job interview clothing.

Denims, T-shirts or baggy clothing are inappropriate interview wear. For men, dressing for a job interview in a less formal environment means tailored slacks with a long-sleeved shirt.

Avoid a lot of logos and accessories. Rather select well made clothes that are free from obvious logos or designer labels. This gives a professional rather than a trendy and frivolous look. Remember clothes do not have to be expensive to look good.

What is the best color to wear to an interview?

woman dressed for interview

Dressing for a job interview in the most appropriate manner means paying close attention to the colors you select. Color plays a key role in projecting a professional image.

Neutral colors can be relied on to convey a competent and capable image. Neutral colors include navy blue, gray, camel, cream, white, beige and black. These colors look both professional and keep the focus of the interview on you and what you are saying.

For women a more personal touch can be included by using appropriate feminine colors like ice blue, lilac, a dusty or soft pink and a soft green as  part of the mix. This can be in the form of a blouse or a scarf.

Loud colors such as hot pink or bright red prove distracting in an interview. Hose should be tasteful and unnoticeable. Nude colors, or sheer black hose in winter are appropriate. Shoes should be tasteful and not the first thing the interviewer notices about you.

Interview Dress Colors for Men

The best suit colors for men are solid navy, beige or gray. Subtle pinstripes or plaid may also be acceptable.

men's clothing

Men can include a pastel colored or striped shirt to lift the neutral color of their suit or pants or add a distinctive tie. Shirt colors should always be lighter than the tie. Busy prints and loud colors are overwhelming and look unprofessional.

Men's shoes should either be black or dark brown leather. Socks should be the same color as the suit and long enough so that your legs don't show when you sit.

The Color Message

Find out what different colors say about you in an interview.

  • Blue sends the message that the candidate can be trusted and relied on. Navy conveys confidence.
  • Brown represents a solid and grounded approach.
  • Red send a message of energy and enthusiasm. It can be an overwhelming color so just add a red scarf or tie to convey this message.
  • Gray gives the impression of calmness and neutrality.
  • Black is a color that conveys power and authority. This is an appropriate color for a conservative work environment or for a higher level position. A black business suit is not always suitable for a relaxed work environment.
  • White conveys truth and integrity and is a good color for a blouse or shirt.

The Fit of the Clothes

Fit is all important when selecting the most appropriate clothes for your job interview.

Pants should be fitted but not tight. Skirts, especially straight styles such as pencil skirts, should be loose enough to sit down in comfortably. The skirt should also be an appropriate length, usually just above or below the knee, so that you can sit without having to tug the hem down.

Jackets and blouses should button up comfortably with no pulling or gaping.

The shirt collar should fit the width of the jacket lapels and the sleeve cuffs should extend about a half inch below the jacket sleeve.

Avoid tight clothing when dressing for a job interview but also stay clear of baggy, ill-fitting clothing. This just looks sloppy.

Dressing for a job interview  - what is currently considered appropriate?

Job Interview Dress Codes

How to find out the company dress code.

Dressing for a job interview properly is key to your success. Your interview clothes send a powerful message to the interviewer about your professionalism and competence.

Preparing for your job interview

Be confident that you will make the right impression in your job interview Get help with these great job interview tips.

Find out how to communicate effectively in your job interview.

Get it right, go through this interview checklist before your job interview.

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