Top 5 Things to Remember About Interview Attire


After a few weeks of job searching, it's happened - you've finally been called by a hiring manager for a position that you're very interested in, and they want you to come in for an interview. You'll want to make sure you prepare ahead of time before the interview itself begins, that your references are lined up, you've done your research on the company and practiced interviewing. However, you also need to take a look in your closet at what you're going to wear to the interview, as your appearance in the interview has a bigger effect than you'd expect.

1. First impressions are everything

Though dress codes and expected attire can change depending on the industry in question, it's always necessary for you to put forth a good first impression. It's true that your conduct, skills and responses to any questions asked of you will be the driving factors determining your overall success, but being able to prepare for the situation and present yourself well to your interviewer will be a huge benefit to your hireability, according to Virginia Tech Career Services.

2. You can underdress, but you can overdress too

This doesn't necessarily mean that you'll need to show up in a suit or formal dress - being overdressed in some situations can look almost as bad as being underdressed. Even if you know that the workplace in question doesn't require its employees to dress up for work, it's smart to err on the side of caution, Virginia Tech Career Services stressed. Whether you're applying for a tech job or a writing job, make sure you dress more formally than the dress code, unless you're explicitly told not to by the interviewer themselves. Forbes reported that about 80 percent of job search candidates get their dress codes right, while about 20 percent dress too casual or too dressy for the situation.

3. When in doubt, think dinner party

If you're applying to a place where the dress code is fairly casual, you'll want to dress as if you were planning to attend a dinner party. This means you should wear a nice pair of pants like khaki slacks and a button-down shirt, or perhaps a blouse. Men should also wear ties if they so choose, and if in doubt, bringing a jacket wouldn't be a bad idea. Once you enter the workplace, you'll be able to see if it's needed or not, and quickly remove it if not necessary.

4. Executive positions require a suit

However, if the job is for a leadership position, always wear a suit. When you start the job search, make sure that your suit is clean and crisp, in other words having no wrinkles, stains, holes or snags. With so many moving parts in the typical job search that a person needs to be aware of, not making this check can lead to a last-minute dash to the cleaner's or the tailor's for an expensive last-minute fix.

5. Apparel's not everything, but it's a big factor

Should you not meet the dress expectations of your potential employer, Forbes noted that you won't immediately be rejected from the position, but it won't give you an advantage over others. It doesn't matter if you wear what you consider appropriate - whatever the hiring manager says goes at this stage of the search. As such, be careful to give them reasons to only consider you in a positive light.

Some smaller aspects of dressing the part for an interview - you'll want to make sure your outfit of choice is comfortable for a longer period of time, and you'll want to avoid wearing any accessories that are overly flashy or gaudy. By doing this, you'll avoid any potential distractions from both your and your interviewer's attention spans, further helping along your search efforts.