three women sitting at the table

How to Dress for an Interview – Dos and Don’ts

three women sitting at the table

This may be something you’ve heard many times and are probably tired of it. However, we will say it again: “First impression is the best impression.”

First impressions are real. Whether we like it, or not, some inferences will be drawn from our dressing sense. Particularly if you’re attending an interview. You can’t deny that it will happen. How else can you show passion for the job you’re applying? It is not helpful to be sloppy dressed. You need to look professional if you want to be interviewed for that dream job. It is equally important to know what you should and shouldn’t wear to interviews.

What to wear to an interview

Every industry has its culture. Organizations also have one. You will be able to tap into the pulse of your industry, more often than not. The times have changed and so has the way we dress. Even tech giants like Google and Apple are moving towards more casual clothing. However, it is important to dress professionally for interviews.

Moving up the corporate ladder

Is it your first time in the corporate world? Or are you a rising star in the corporate world? You should know by now that client-facing and corporate roles require communication and affability. It’s also about how you present yourself. Your attire can say a lot about who you are, even before you speak.

Profile Examples – Media, advertising, sales, business development, aviation industry, consulting, etc.
Here are some things you should know:

  • Don’t forget your suit, it’s the most formal look you can have.
  • It’s possible to follow the latest trends, experiment with your shirt (top), but it is best to stick to the basics.
  • Keep it simple: black, gray, white and blue.
  • Accessory and makeup should be minimal. Closed sandals are preferred – at most 3-4 inches.
  • Other options include pencil skirts and one-piece dresses. Be careful about the length.
  • Other options include a cigarette and ankle-length pants that will make you stylish and fashionable.

Fashion Industry: Your Big Move

Fashion jobs are characterized by the belief that you must wear edgy, outlandish clothing. This is not how it works and you should not expect that at interview. Everybody has their own style. Keep it in mind and let it reflect who you are. You can show them what you have to offer without saying anything. You can be stylish and fashionable. But don’t try to fit in. Your creativity and talent are not dependent on your dress.

Profile Examples – Designer, stylist, personal shopper and fashion writer/editor, etc.
Here are some things you should know:

  • You should tailor your dress to the industry that you are working in. Be mindful of the branding aesthetics, but don’t go overboard.
  • Your overall attire should be simple, elegant, and stylish.
  • You may leave them feeling curious. It might not be as fashionable as you think to dress up in branded labels.
  • Make sure to pay attention to details such as your accessories, scarfs, bag and shoes.
  • It is an interview, so it should be simple and formal.

Fancy Finance Job or Investment Banker

A sector that is difficult to penetrate. It is important to be tough, smart, polite, and tough. It’s a double-sided sword, so your personality is crucial. This is something that you need to work on. It is important to leave a lasting impression at interviews. They say fashion changes but style stays. This is evident in the fashion industry. Don’t be afraid to stay in your comfort zone.

Profile Examples – Investment banker, banker, portfolio manager, customer queries, financial advisor, consultant, etc.

Here are some things you should know:

  • Keep it simple with your black, gray, or blue suit. You can choose whatever suits you want, but make sure to pick a suit.
  • You shouldn’t find it difficult, as everyone in this industry is at their best.
  • Many companies will accept small printed suits and dresses, but these can wait until after you have been hired.
  • This does not mean that you should wear the same interview pants from school. You can wear whatever the latest office wear, but it must be professional. This is a must-have.

Cracking the Creative Role

This is one of the most innovative industries and you will be judged differently than the mainstream. While creativity is the prevailing trait, you must be presentable at interview level. You should not be too casual or sloppy. These are important points to keep in mind.

Profile Examples – Writer, director, photographer, art or creative director, editor, etc.
Here are some things you should know:

  • Corduroy, denim, and other semi-formal trousers are acceptable. However, they should be dark and not torn.
  • Wear a shirt or a silk/chiffon/georgette top. If possible, tuck it in.
  • You can pair them with accessories but they should be minimal.
  • You can wear one-piece dresses, but not too short. This is not acceptable for interviews.
  • Although the company, brand, or production house that you are interviewing for may seem very laid back, it is important to be professional and formal at your interview.

Startups are the Next Big Thing

Working in a startup has many perks. One is the freedom to not worry about what the dress code looks like. Most of them will accept whatever you wear. This is one less thing (and big) to worry about. All of them, even the founder, have graduated from college. Or at least it feels that way. You can’t be too formal or casual. Find the perfect balance between casual and formal.

Profile Examples – Programmer, developer, coding, application development, web designer, analyst, etc.
Here are some things you should know:

  • Visit their website to get a feel for the process.
  • It is possible to wear smart casuals or semi-formal attire.
  • You’re fine as long as your dress isn’t too short or too revealing.

Most importantly – What to Wear to an Interview

  • Loud Colors

You must be subtle and subdued in your choice of color, whether formal, smart-casual, or semi-formal. It is forbidden to be loud, flashy, or gaudy.

  • Revealing Clothes

Listen up ladies! For an interview, a plunging neckline, backless tops and skin hugging dresses, as well as skirts above the knees, strapless clothing, see-throughs, and other revealing items are not acceptable. This is a common occurrence in any industry.

  • Footwear that is inappropriate

Shoes that are inappropriate are not just flip-flops and crocs. As bad as flashy stilettos and heels six inches in height are. Running shoes and trainers are also not recommended unless they are specifically designed for the industry.

  • Too casual

Startups and creative businesses go above and beyond to boast about their casual work environment. They also talk about how casual they don’t care about what you wear to interviews. Shorts and hot pants are not acceptable, even in such cases. Be casual but not too casual.

  • Distressed Denims

Avoid distressed/torn jeans and ripped edges of pants or any similar items.

  • Animal Prints

It is obvious that animal prints of all kinds, and large prints such as florals, are not acceptable. They are not considered formal. You should keep your shirt and top simple, even if you are wearing a semi-formal dress, and avoid any animal prints.

Are You Interested in Attending a Summer Interview?

Dressing professionally for an interview in weather-appropriate clothing can be difficult. Most interview clothes are made from smooth fabrics such as cotton, georgette or chiffon. A sleeveless, sleeveless blouse with trousers or skirt, or a pleated or lined dress is ideal. Avoid dark colors, and opt for pastels, whites, or ivories.

Outfit Ideas for a Winter Interview

Layering is the key to winter interviews. Layering is as easy as adding layers. A turtle-neck T-shirt and a cashmere sweater with sleeves can be paired with fitted trousers or a pencil skirt that has fleeced stockings. You can finish it off with stylish and fashionable leather boots. Add some style to your outfit with accessories such as a scarf, neck piece or waist belt, or even a watch. Wear a long woolen jacket. Makeup should be minimal and your boots should be clean. Keep your hair neat.

Outfit for a Rainy Day (Literally)

An interview outfit for a rainy day will not be any different to what you would wear on a mildly cold day. You will definitely need an umbrella or raincoat, so you don’t have to be afraid of walking into work in a raincoat. If you don’t want your trousers to get wet, you might prefer dresses or skirts.

woman wearing black and white striped top and round eyeglasses Previous post 8 Tips for Safer Hair Color
woman wearing white crew-neck t-shirt on bed holding silver MacBook Next post Five Genius Tips to Save Money on Online Shopping