You have most likely invested several hours to create a targeted resume and cover letter in order to land an interview. Despite all this hard work, candidates can quickly spoil their chances by showing up to an interview wearing unprofessional attire. As a general rule of thumb, candidates should always dress formally, even if a company has a more relaxed dress code. In order to make the right impression, your clothing should also be toned down rather than flashy.
Men should typically opt for darker colors – navy, black, or dark grey. A suit is never a poor choice unless it is ill fitting. While a suit doesn’t need to cost a thousand dollars, it should be tailored to your body type. Even in the summer, men should wear long-sleeved shirts. Subdued patterns can work as long as they do not clash with the rest of your outfit. Colorful ties can make a memorable statement, but you should also make sure that it is a professional one. Ties that feature cartoon characters or silly graphics are never appropriate. Your dress shoes should be freshly polished and free of excessive scuffs. Wear dark socks and a belt that matches your shoes. In terms of jewelry, a nice watch can be a good accent, but other options may come off as ostentatious. Shorts are always inappropriate, and trendy outfits should be avoided.
Women have greater flexibility than men, and a simple two-piece skirt suit is one of the most professional looks. A jacket should be fitted, but not too form fitting. You can choose to wear pants instead of a skirt, but either one should be of an appropriate length. The pants and skirt should clearly match your blazer. Under the jacket, you can wear a knit sweater, a tailored blouse, or another top that covers your chest and is not transparent. If you want to wear hosiery, neutral colors are best. Simple dress shoes with medium-high heels provide an elegant complement to any outfit. You should avoid any large or distracting jewelry since it can steal the interviewer’s attention. All clothes should be clean, in good shape, and free of wrinkles.
Of course, your appearance includes more than just clothing. Men should be clean-shaven and groom their facial hair in an appropriate style. Women should stick to makeup that is understated. Bright, striking colors are typically inappropriate for most work environments. Even the small details count. For example, your nails should be clean and trimmed, whether you are a man or a woman.