Don't let a fashion faux pas stop you from landing your dream job. Here's how you dress for a job interview!
Congratulations! You've just landed your dream job interview and things could begin to take a new turn for you if it works out. That means every step in your preparation counts:
- You have your cover letter and CV updated
- You have all your answers prepared
That leaves you with the only thing: deciding what to wear!
Knowing how to dress for a job interview is a significant part of the process as you only have one chance to make a good impression.
Are you ready to make that terrific first impression?
It's always good to keep some options for clothes ready. That way, you won't have to worry about it at the last moment.
Your interview attire is mainly based on the type of job you're applying for, but you should be neat, tidy, and dressed no matter what position it is. Read on further for tips on how to dress for a job interview to make a positive impression.
What qualifies as proper interview attire?
A job interview generally calls for professional or business attire. You can also incorporate some modern styles or trends into your outfits. Here's how you should dress for two of the most common types of companies:
Business Casual: You can choose between a pencil skirt with a nice top or button-down shirt, or a knee-length dress for smart casual office wear. Even though the name says casual, you want your appearance to be presentable and professional.
Business Formal: When it comes to formal office wear for women, you want to go with either a pantsuit, pencil skirt with a blouse and blazer, or a knee-length dress with a blazer. This will make sure you look as professional and business-appropriate as possible.
When interviewing for a creative or artistic position, add more flair to your outfit while remaining minimal and strategic. For example, you can add a piece of jewellery you made, more colour, or a statement bag.
Outfit Ideas for your Big Interview!
Now that you know the type of combinations that are appropriate for a formal and casual setting, here are some outfit ideas to help you nail your interview attire:
A Navy Blue Blazer for Endless Options
A navy blue blazer is a great business interview outfit that is simple yet versatile. Not only can you wear it for a range of occasions, but it also works well with different outfits- over a button-down shirt or a dress, for example.
You can also wear it to a casual interview by pairing a navy blue blazer and a simple blouse or button-down shirt with khaki pants or dark-wash jeans.
Experiment with Button-Down Shirts
If you thought button-down shirts were boring- think again! Don't limit them to the basic white, blue, or pink version. Try experimenting with fabrics and get creative with colour, too. This shirt's colour works well, as it's more interesting than the standard colours but still tasteful and professional.
Go Classic with a Timeless Black Dress
A tasteful black dress is the hallmark of a refined yet straightforward business wardrobe. Investing in a quality dress that skims the knee could come in handy for interviews and formal work events. A dress with a structured fit and lovely details is professional yet modern.
Spruce up your outfit by adding some elements like:
- Pair your dress with some textured tights, preferably also black.
- Also, it would be better if the pattern is subtle, like a cable pattern or sheer stripe that adds texture and interest.
- Adding a pair of black heels to finish your outfit makes for the perfect, classic formal business look.
Try a Statement Dress
Although your interview attire must be professional and conservative, that doesn't mean you can't experiment with colour. An elegant dress in an exciting colour, such as a sky blue or deep red, is an excellent addition to your interview wardrobe.
When you wear a statement dress, there's no need for jewellery or other accessories as the dress speaks for itself. When working with bright colours though, make sure the rest of the dress is modest.
Impress with a Midi Shirtdress
You can't go wrong with a shirt dress, and when it comes to interviews, this could be a great way to make a fashion statement while still keeping it professional.
Adding a belt to the waist helps give the desired shape without making you feel too constricted, and the collar helps to provide a polished look.
A black pencil skirt never fails
Sleek and stylish, a black pencil skirt is always a safe option for interviews. You can't go far wrong with it and in the summer, a lighter plain colour is perfectly fine too.
Pair it with a satin or crepe blouse for an impressive fashion-forward look.
Things To Remember while dressing for an interview!
- Black, white, navy blue, brown or beige are all acceptable colours when it comes to a job interview. But it needn't be all dreary, you can add a hint of colour by opting for shades of light blue, pale yellow or light pink and still convey some amount of professionalism.
- Pencil skirts, knee-length dresses, blazers, light coloured blouses and suits are all acceptable when it comes to interview attire forms.
- Your shoes should be closed-toed heels or flats.
- Make sure to avoid bright coloured clothing, flip flops, loud accessories and unpleasant perfume.
- It would help if you researched beforehand to figure out the type of company you are interviewing for and the dress codes they follow.
It would also help if you try on your outfit a couple of days in advance so you will be able to plan out your accessories and set up everything way in advance, and have one less thing to worry about!
Finally, when you look good, you feel good too, so there will be a much higher chance of you confidently acing your interview. A good rule of thumb would be to always dress better than the current employees. This would show that you're interested in the position and take pride in how you carry yourself.
No matter what you choose, be sure that you are comfortable with what you are wearing. Being uncomfortable in your clothes could cause you to look nervous and awkward. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions.
All the best for your interview, powerwoman! We’re confident you’re going to nail this one. More power to you! If you have stories of your first interview, pictures of the outfit or some tips then feel free to share them with the community!