Job interviews can be a stressful prospect. Enter a designated room at a designated time and work your hardest to impress a complete stranger and convince them you are the most successful candidate for the job, all while trying not to say or do anything that might jeopardize your chances.
Unfortunately, some things are out of your control, such as the interviewer’s mood or the room temperature. However, there is one thing you can control that will go a long way to helping you secure the job of your dreams: dressing correctly.
But what is “well-dressed” when it comes to job interviews?
The short answer: it varies depending on the workplace, your age and even where the business is located — when in doubt though, err on the side of more conservative.
For women, this means no low-cut blouses, tight and/or short skirts, flashy patterns and colors, or unprofessional jewelry and accessories (i.e. leave the nose ring at home).
For men, this means no shorts, tank tops, flip flops, tennis shoes, grungy baseball caps or unkempt hair.
Keep in mind, there are varying levels of appropriate dress, depending on the type of job you are applying for. For instance, an aspiring account executive will most likely be required to wear a suit and tie, while a 3D animator can often times get away with a more casual look.
A good rule of thumb, no matter the job, would be a simple dress and low heels or nice shirt and slacks for women, and a button up shirt and slacks for men. Blazers are a great addition if you want to add a professional edge, but be careful that the jacket fits well and isn’t too big or too small (which can negate your carefully crafted appearance).
These rules of course don’t mean you have to give up a personal sense of style to land your dream job; just be cognizant of the fact that the more complicated the outfit, the more risk there is of you accidentally sending the wrong impression to your interviewer.
When in doubt, conduct research on the company’s website or social media platforms. Often times, employees will be featured, and you can get a better idea of what kind of dress code your (hopefully) future employer has in mind.
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, check out our presentation below for a visual explanation of what is appropriate for job interviews. (Click the lower right button to make it full screen).
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