We are constantly told that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to interviewing for a job, the importance of a good first impression makes it crucial that you are choosing the right outfit. Dressing for success is a major part of the interview process, as the outfit that you wear will make a big statement about both your work ethic and your cultural match to the organization. Keep these tips in mind when you are deciding what to wear for your next job interview.
Avoid Distracting Colors and Accessories
The way that you dress is a reflection of your individual style and personality, but when it comes to acing your next interview, make sure that you are keeping distractions to a minimum. You’re right that choosing a fuchsia blazer will get you noticed by a hiring manager, but likely not for the right reasons. Prospective employers prefer conservative and neutral colors during an interview, as they convey a sense of professionalism. In fact, a recent survey completed by CareerBuilder found that black and blue were the most highly recommended job interview colors.
Dress for the Industry
When preparing for your upcoming interview, you should also consider the industry in which you are trying to get a job. Interviewing for a finance, administrative, or corporate position will generally require more conservative dress than other fields. Trousers, blazers, and blouses are common staples, as are closed-toed shoes. You should also ensure that you appear well groomed and wear limited makeup, giving you a professional appearance.
If you are interviewing for a creative job, you’ll have a little more freedom with your wardrobe. You’ll want to show your potential employer that you have good taste, so stylish shoes and modern jewelry are good additions to your outfit choice. However, it is important that you ensemble isn’t too fashion forward, as your clothing and accessories should showcase your style without becoming a distraction.
Don’t Neglect Your Shoes
A suit that is perfectly tailored can serve as a great first impression, but it can all fall apart if you fail to pay attention to your shoes. Closed-toed flats are a great option, but you can also wear a good pair of pumps as long as you keep the heels under three inches. Not only do shorter heels give a more professional appearance, but they will also help to prevent uncoordinated wobbling or potential face plants in the interview room.
You should also ensure that your shoes are polished and clean. Even the most impeccable of outfits can’t save your first impression if the heels of your shoes are chewed down or covered in mud – this will show a hiring manager that you have poor attention to detail, which could translate to your work habits.
If you have a job interview coming up, take some time to try on your interview outfit in advance. This way, you’ll be able to find the perfect combination of clothing and accessories that conveys the message you are looking for without feeling rushed.
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