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Consider Interview Attire

April 21, 2016

While you grew up learning “not to judge a book by the cover” don’t be fooled. Hiring managers make an opinion on you as soon as you walk in the door. If you look like you belong in the company and are put together well, then you are starting off the interview on a good note before you even shake their hand.

You put so much time into prepping for the interview, researching their company, what questions you will ask them. If you aren’t dressed in the appropriate attire, all of that could go to waste.

The week leading up to an interview is stressful enough.

That’s why we’re here to help.

The last thing we want you to do is to worry about what you are going to wear. Here are a few tips to consider when picking out your interview attire to help you ace that interview.

Err on the side of formal.

Dress a tad more formal than how employers at the company dress on a normal basis. In our opinion, it’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.

Take a look at the company’s website to see what the company culture is. Many companies have an About Us page and show pictures of employees around the office.

If you can’t find anything on their website, look at their social media accounts. This includes Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and any other accounts you can find. Some companies will post “behind the scene pictures” of their employees at work.

If neither of those help, just ask! If you have a connection within the company, use them as a resource. If you don’t, you can ask the person setting up the interview what the recommended dress code is.

If you still can’t find any clues as to what employees wear, err on the side of more formal. Megan, a hiring expert at Arched Daniels Midland, says, “Unless stated otherwise, you should wear business professional. It is better to be overdressed then underdressed for an interview. Business professional would include suits. If you do not have a suit to wear, dress pants and a dress shirt (tie if a male), and dress shoes would be appropriate.” Full Quote



Make them picture you in the roll you are applying for.

Dress for the job you want. I know you’ve heard that before. The theory behind this is that you want the interviewer to be able to picture you in the position you are interviewing for.

This does not mean you have to be model material. It’s more about being polished. If your clothes are ill-fitting, appear wrinkly, or not put together, then you are not making a good first impression.

Dan, a hiring expert at Mutual of Omaha, says, “It is vital to be appropriate in the style of clothing you choose. Make sure your attire is fitted, clean cut, and presentable. No one wants to see offensive language on a shirt, sagging pants, or an ultra-short skirt. For example, opt for a simple pair of black slacks and a white button-down shirt or blouse. And as for grooming, one needs to be all clean, hair done, and for girls make up should be light and not too dramatic.” Full Quote

Sue, a hiring expert at Gap, Inc. adds, “Generally, avoid showing too much skin or wearing clothing that takes the attention away from what you’re saying.” Full Quote

In addition, when you feel polished and sharp, you feel most confident.

Be comfortable.

While it is important to look sharp and polished, it’s just as important to be comfortable. Wearing clothes that are itchy, hard to move in, or always need adjusting may distract.

Follow these dress code rules.

Professional dress:
Men= matching business suit, tie and dress shoes
Women = matching business suit (skirt or pants), dress shoes, professional jewelry (i.e. not nightclub jewelry).

Business Casual: (Could be same as professional dress)
For Men = no tie but still dress pants and dress shoes
For Women = dress pants/skirt and a blouse

Casual: Defined differently and can run from jeans to "khaki" pant styles.

Never wear: (unless you are working for a small company or a more "radical" work environment like Google)
Men/Women = Sweat pants, gym cloths, t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits.

If you have any more questions on what to wear, you can ask one of our hiring experts from major corporations here.


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