Though a lot of people will give you advice on what to wear to a job interview, the truth is that there is no right answer that will match every company. Though the majority of companies expect their candidates to appear for job interviews dressed in the style known as business professional, there are enough variations to make it worthwhile for the candidate to investigate before picking out his or her interview clothing. More important than a simple shopping list of interview clothing is an understanding of how organizations view the clothing that the candidate chooses to wear for the job interview. In a nutshell, interviewers judge a candidate's clothing by how well it matches with the clothing that is being worn by the existing members of the organization. Period. Not how well it looks. Not how expensive it is. How well it matches what the people already there wear.
Knowing what to wear to a job interview is less a process of trying to create a positive impression, and more a process of trying to avoid a negative impression. As new applicants come into the company for an interview, the interviewers are wondering if those applicants have the capability and the desire to fit into the company and be a committed member of the team. For better or worse, one way that the interviewer will evaluate that will be based on the candidate's appearance in the job interview. If the candidate shows up dressed significantly different from the existing team, whether that different means "better" or "worse" that casts doubt upon their capacity to fit in or their desire.
Some Tips On What to Wear to a Job Interview
For most companies, the answer for what to wear to a job interview is to wear the combinations typically sold as business professional suits. For men, that typically means a dark blue or grey suit, a dress shirt, tie, belt and dress shoes. For women that might mean a pantsuit, a skirt and jacket, and heels. For both men and women, the business professional dress code suggests a very crisp, plain, businesslike appearance. Bright colors, busy patterns, flashy jewelry, loud makeup, strong scents and attention-grabbing accessories of all kinds have no place in the wardrobe of the job seeker. Instead the job seeker should focus on solid, muted colors and a more conservative look.
This guide of what to wear to a job interview does not apply to every place of work, though. Some fields, such as advertising, design, fashion and publishing, allow and expect their employees to be a bit more informal and stylish than the traditional business professional look. For these companies which are more creative and on the cutting edge of fashion, the conservative business professional dress code would look just as out of place as a more stylish outfit would look going into a bank or law firm. For that reason, it's worth asking or investigating before you make your job interview clothing choice. If you know someone in the field or company where you are interviewing, feel free to ask for advice. Alternatively, ask the person who is setting up the interview what kind of dress code the company follows and expects for the candidates to follow.
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