What Should One Wear To An Interview – Oct 26, 2021 Lily and Austin Belcak What to Wear to an Interview [17+ Samples for Women and Men]
If you’re wondering what to wear to your next job interview, I’ve got some scary news for you:
What Should One Wear To An Interview
According to researchers at Princeton University, it only takes a person 1/10 of a second to form a first impression of you based on what they see.
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But here’s the good news: that split-second print is highly visible. People look at your face, your body language,
If you want to increase your chances of turning that interview into a job offer, your outfit needs to be professional and accurate!
This post will show you exactly what to wear to a job interview so that you make a great first impression and increase your chances of landing that job. We talk through:
From a gender perspective, I’ve got the boys covered, but I want to make sure the girls also get advice from someone who knows where they’re from!
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With that in mind, I asked my wife Lily for help. All the girl tips, outfit examples and ideas in this post are written by her!
Our goal is to make sure you know exactly what to wear to an interview so you feel good, calm and confident on the big day.
I worked at Microsoft on the advertising side. Each year, we host an annual awards ceremony in Seattle to recognize our best customers.
A few years ago, our marketing team sent an email stating that the dress code for the event was “cocktail casual.”
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Should men wear a jacket and tie? Or a jacket but no tie? If you are a woman wearing a dress, what is the correct length? etc.
The whole office was debating the “cocktail casual” dress code for the next month, and by the time the big event started, people were wearing all kinds of clothes.
My point? When it comes to choosing the right outfit for a big event, it’s easy to overanalyze.
The good news is that when it comes to interview outfits, we can follow a simple rule of thumb to make sure we don’t look out of place:
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The golden rule for interview attire When in doubt, proceed formally. You always want to be one step ahead of the people you are having a conversation with.
You’d rather wear a suit to an office full of sweats and jeans than come to an office full of polished leather shoes and pantsuits in a T-shirt.
If you look “too formal”, it’s too easy to throw away. You can use this as a conversation starter to lighten the mood and break the ice with your interviewer.
In the next section, we’ll talk about some techniques you can use to help you learn about the corporate culture in your dress code to make sure you have the perfect outfit.
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As a job seeker, you are constantly researching companies, recruiters, job titles, and salaries. And when the day comes when you finally get the email or phone call that landed you an interview, keep researching and preparing as best you can!
There are several ways to determine what to wear to a job interview. I’ll outline three strategies you can use below.
If you’ve passed the interview stage, you’re probably dealing with someone from the logistics company. This could be an external recruiter, internal HR or a hiring manager. Either way, don’t hesitate to ask them what to wear to your interview – it’s a perfectly normal question that they’ll be happy to answer.
Email Template: Asking Questions About Job Apparel Hi, [Name], looking forward to meeting the team on [Interview Date]. I have a quick question for you: what should I wear to the job interview? I want to make sure I’m presenting it right, and I always feel it’s better to ask than assume. Thank you very much for the help. Sincerely, [Your name]
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You can always follow up and ask them to be more specific, or you can reach out to other people who work at the company and see what they think.
If sweatshirts and sneakers are cool in your office, but your dress code is more formal, things can get tricky. The best way to do this is to make sure expectations are set up front!
In today’s world, almost every company is very active on social media where they share product launches, major events and their corporate culture.
This usually means lots of photos of employees at work that you can use as a reference point. For example, Teachable, a startup that helps people create online courses, posted a photo of their team at lunch and noted that they did the following:
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Most of the staff seem to be dressed in smart/casual attire which gives you a good point of reference on what to wear when interviewing them.
Many companies use their offices to make headlines in high-impact publications and raise awareness of their brand.
For example, if you google “Inside LinkedIn’s Offices,” you’ll get a list of over 10 articles from various outlets that offer a look inside the company’s office.
These articles usually have a photo shoot during a normal work day, which means you get unsuspecting employees giving us a peek into their everyday wardrobe.
What To Wear To An Interview
In this photo, the attire looks neatly casual, which means you might as well go business casual (up a notch) when applying on LinkedIn.
Everyone seems to be at least business casual there, but most people kill it in business formal (I see a lot of suit jackets and suit jackets).
Also places like The Muse company profiles where they show up in an office, take lots of pictures and interview current employees about what it’s like to work there.
The goal is to give candidates a better understanding of the company and culture, but we can also use it to see what people wear to work every day. Check out this image from Proof, an eComm-focused startup:
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Seems pretty normal to me! I’m probably going to that interview with some sort of casual dress code.
It comes down to? Finding creative ways to get attention in the interviewer’s office is a great way to see how people show up at work every day.
With your goal of moving up a notch on our three-level dress code scale, this should give you a good idea of what to wear to your interview.
Now you know you should dress at least a notch above the people you’re interviewing, but how does that fit on the slippers on the scale of a formal suit?
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In my experience, business/interview attire can be divided into three groups (these are high-level overviews of each, we’ll give specific examples for both genders in a moment).
Smart Casual: This dress style is fun and light yet professional. Choices should be neutral and fit well, but they don’t have to be too formal.
Business Casual: We’re not going to build the full dress here, but we’re definitely on the more formal side compared to Smart Casual.
For men, this usually means a sports jacket, trousers and leather shoes. For women, it’s a neutral blouse (with a blazer or sweater if necessary), tailored pants, and dressy flats or shoes.
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Business Formal: This is your traditional conservative business look. Think of bankers, lawyers, consultants, etc. We are talking about complete suits and smart shoes for both sexes. That said, just because it’s formal doesn’t mean it can’t show off your personality!
Again, these examples are just high-level overviews to help you understand the different levels of interview dress code. We’ll get into specific examples/do’s and don’ts for men and women in a moment.
It is often difficult to know exactly what current employees are wearing to help you set your barometer. I’d like to share some techniques to help you determine exactly what to wear to your interview:
How many times have we said this – especially before a big event like an interview? For most of us, I bet that’s too many times to count.
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My goal is to simplify things for you. Interviews are stressful enough as it is. We shouldn’t be afraid of our clothes, while also thinking about how to give an attractive and sophisticated answer to “so, tell me a little about yourself”.
Smart Casual is a somewhat ambiguous style, so it can be hard to know how to draw the line between too casual or too formal. I really like this quote from Trend Spotter that helps differentiate between Smart Casual and Business Casual:
“Because of its polished yet laid-back aesthetic, smart casual clothing is often confused with the business casual dress code. While many outfits can fall flat
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