A job interview can be a scary thing. How do you know what to say to impress the interviewer and land the job? But a first impression goes way beyond your talking points. Are suits still necessary for job interviews? There are a few ways to approach your clothes when you’re meeting with a hiring manager. Here are some tips to get you started.
Out with the Old
When you watch old TV shows, it’s hard to avoid the idea that suits were the go-to professional clothes of the day. For men or women, a suit with a matching jacket was always the height of fashion for job seekers at all levels. Simple dark shoes or heels would complete the look. For men, a neutral tie and women might add a small accessory such as a necklace or earrings. But times have changed, and now interviews are a bit different.
In with the New
Today, for professional interviews, companies are seeing people dial it back a little. Tailored pants for men and nice slacks or skirts for women are typical. Now, the ensemble is paired with a button-down collard shirt. Blazers are optional for both men and women and may depend on the office environment or even the weather. Accessories can be much more personal to showcase your style.
Men‘s Interview Clothes
For a professional interview, it’s recommended that men choose:
- Dark or khaki slacks that fit well
- Black or brown shoes
- A button-down, collard shirt in any color – it’s okay to go bold
- An optional tie which can also be bold
- An optional blazer
Women‘s Interview Clothes
For women, a professional interview look can include:
- A black, brown, or blue skirt in the right style for your body type
- A blouse or top – button-down or collared styles are optional and will depend on your preference
- A fitted blazer, optional
- Neutral shoes
- Accessories such as a necklace or earrings, but keep it simple
When to Break the Rules
Of course, not all interviews are the same. There may be occasions where you will want to break the rules. The first instance is if the interviewer tells you to. If you set up an interview and they specifically say, “We usually wear jeans, so feel free to come casual,” follow their recommendations. This may be a way to see if you’re willing to follow directions. Even if you go casual, be sure to choose clothes that fit correctly, are clean and in good repair, and are workplace appropriate. For example, you don’t want to wear a graphic t-shirt to an interview just because you’ve been asked to wear jeans. Choose tailored jeans and pair them with a button-down shirt or blouse.
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