It’s the night before your interview and you’re prepped with all your answers to wow the interviewers. However, before you even have a chance to say anything, they’ll already have formed a first impression of you.
So how do you show them - without even saying a word - that you belong there?
Whether we like it or not, what we wear makes a difference. Although interviews are stressful, we can control more than we think. Preparation is key to ensuring the most stress-free interview,whether it’s regarding your answer to the question, “Why do you want to work here?” or the outfit you chose to wear.
Your attire portrays your attitude about the job and your personality – two things which are crucial to making an outstanding first impression.
Since what you wear for an interview is definitely not a one size fits all situation, you should match your attire to the company style. Though there are many kinds of jobs with many nuanced office styles, here’s some things to consider for your next interview.
- Don’t be afraid to ask: Many recruiters will give you a heads-up before your interview about what to wear. Keep your eye out for this and definitely stick to it.
- If you’re not told what to wear, don’t panic! Politely asking what would be appropriate to gauge the culture and style of the company isn’t a bad thing. It might even win some brownie points with the recruiter by showing them how attentive and prepared you are.
- Consider the culture you know: Many start-ups – especially ones with younger employees – have a more casual style. This is where mastering the art of business casual can come in handy. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Slacks and slightly more casual button downs are always a safe bet.
- Blouses are always a go-to for women but even a nice sweater could work, depending on the office environment.
- For women, you can swap the traditional heels for some nice flats to have a more casual look.
- Don’t be afraid to add a bit of color! This could mean a watch with a bright colored band, a button down with a nice colored print, or some jewelry with color. Putting in some color could make you more memorable amidst all the traditional black and white, but remember: balance is key. Don’t overdo it and risk distracting your interviewer or looking unprofessional.
Although in some cases casual looks are appropriate, remember that it’s always better to be a little over-dressed, than under-dressed.
On the other hand, traditional offices in fields like accounting or investment banking often have a more conservative and formal office style. Here are some things to consider:
- Suits are the best and safest bet, find one that fits right and it could last you a lifetime.
- Just because a suit is a necessity, doesn’t mean your personality takes a back seat. A button down with a simple print or small accessory might do the trick.
- Do your research & don’t break your wallet: There are many places to find inspiration for interview looks. Finding a great look that feels both professional and fitting to your style will be crucial in making you feel comfortable and confident.eel comfortable and confident.
- Now that you have a better understanding of what to wear, hit the online shops to make your outfit dreams come to life. Go to stores, such as Nordstrom, in person to try on business wear and see what makes you feel like your best self.
- If you feel like the looks you want are too expensive, don’t fret! Finding inspiration from one source doesn’t mean you have to buy it from there. Try to find similar items at discounted prices online or at other stores.
- Consider how often you might wear something: Investing in a staple item, such as nice fitting black pants is worth the money.
As cliché as it may sound, first impressions are indeed lasting. Being nervous for an interview is normal, but you shouldn’t be nervous about what to wear! Just remember that your outfit should be appropriate, comfortable, and make you feel confident. And don’t forget to bring our your personality; after all, you want them to remember you, not just another potential employee.
Now that you’re prepared to nail that first impression with the best outfit, don’t forget to accessorize with some unbeatable skills! Show your future interviewers that you can dress for success and bring them the skills they need.
Creating a candidate profile can expose you to more potential jobs and our training courses will develop the skills you need to truly wow your interviewers. It’s never too late to make the next first impression even better than the last.