Wondering about what to wear to a job interview? Do not forget that first impressions do count; you will need to think about your dress code as well. Here are 7 looks that will speak before you do when you show up for your interview.
Photo credit: fxquadro
For someone who wants to make a good impression in the interview, you have to dress the part. Forget the saying that beauty is only skin deep, when you are going for an interview your appearance on the outside is as important as what comes out of you.
First things first, before deciding what to wear to a job interview, research the company thoroughly. I do not mean profits and losses, but their core ethical values. For an Asian-founded workplace, you might be better off adjusting to what they term as decent. The religious beliefs of a company greatly affect how they do things and this means it might determine who they hire. This means it will influence your final decision on what to wear to the job interview.
As you do the research, also dive into their culture. Western, Asian, and African cultures dress differently. Companies like Google have their employers dressing casually meaning you will find 95% of their workers in jeans, slacks, and sneakers on a Monday. Try that in a corporate bank in Africa and you might get a warning letter. This is why you need to do the necessary research. There are key things you should never ignore while choosing what to wear to the job interview; decency, comfort, and neatness.
All cultures and values considered, in this article, we shall clearly give you 7 looks that will get you through the door.
The formal look
This look is used for interviews that are in corporate and formal places. Lawyers often find this look easy to pull off as it is their day-to-day work attire. This look typically involves dark colors and well-complimented pieces to help you make a good first impression.
This category involves colors like dark blue, brown, black, grey, cream, and white. Blue, black, or grey office/formal pants/skirt with a plain white shirt/blouse will be good basic pieces to start. Add a belt that will match your shoes, that is to say, a brown belt with brown shoes for the gentlemen.
The style-sensitive look
For some positions like marketing executives, public relations, brand ambassadors for fashion lines, and media personalities, your style might be tested. You need to wear something appealing to the eye and represent your class.
To pull off this look, you will need to opt for a trendy outfit. Gents, tailor-made suits are a great way to show up for that interview. While ladies, opt for fabrics that are in vogue-sleek, satin and chiffon blouses that are not see-through. Tailor-made formal pants or skirts in bold colors also work but avoid busy prints.
The cold weather look
A wise man once said smartness knows no weather, but I beg to differ. Do not torture yourself in cold weather because you want to make an impression in the interview. You can still make a good impression when you are comfortably dressed. No one is going to interview you, while you are shivering because of the cold.
All the above-mentioned looks will fall into this category, however, we’ll incorporate the element of warmth. While opting for a sweater or cardigan, colors like grey, black, and dark blue will play the part. Ladies opt for light trench coats, button-up sweaters, and full blazers.
The internship outfit
Asking yourself what to wear to an internship interview? Choose something that will make you look young. You do not want to look too old for the internship position unless otherwise stated that there is a preferred age range. Young graduates and finalists should opt for trendy two-piece suits, brightly colored clothing, and simple accessories.
The cultural look
What happens when the company dictates the attire? For example, Hijab for ladies. Here you will have to peacefully comply if you want the job of course. Do not limit your options by choosing something bulky and uncomfortable, there are stylish Hijab options that could play the part.
If you are interviewing for a position in top management, then you need to invest more in your appearance. In most corporate workplaces, it is very easy to know who the manager is depending on how they are dressed, this is mainly because they set an example for the others to follow in line with company policies and values. Therefore, your choice of attire should show leadership and authority. Choose an outfit that is professional, decent, and elegant. The job here is to stand out.
This look applies to workplaces that are not strict on dress codes. However, you cannot take advantage. You can still keep it professional. This means looking decent, neat, and well-put-together. Do not add your open shoes to this look.
For an interview, opt for full jeans. Avoid the trendy ‘torn’ jeans and shorts. The safest colors for jeans in an interview are black and dark blue. Bright-colored jeans are not in the picture here. For men, khakis will also come in handy. Add a warm-colored blouse for ladies or a smart striped shirt for gentlemen.
And do not forget to button up fully - casual does not mean messy.
Extra tip: Always smell good without people everyone with your perfume/cologne. Save up and buy that beautiful scent even when it's just for your interviews and important appointments.
Accessorize, invest in a good watch and simple but elegant jewelry. For ladies, pearls are good to go. They are elegant and will attract a good kind of attention. Avoid noisy or dangling jewelry and earrings as they can be a bit too much. Studs are always the safer option.
Do not neglect your hair. Men, trim off your hair neatly to your preferred style but for a formal place, avoid too much styling and overgrown hair. Keep in mind that some places allow dreadlocks, while some might not. As we said, research is key.
Ladies, brightly colored hair is a strong no. Do not let your hair become the center of attention.