You did it! You have the interview setup and all you have to do is dress the part. First impressions are everything, so bring a suit and you’re good to go, right? Wrong. It’s entirely possible to overdress for interviews. Here’s how to avoid giving the wrong impression.
Finding the perfect outfit for your interview isn’t complicated, but it’s easy to get it wrong. Stay away from flashy, scent-filled and out-of-touch wardrobes to increase your odds of success. We’ll show you how to make the interviewer focus on you and not your clothes.
Follow These Fashion Tips and You’ll Ace That Interview!
Don’t Wear Distracting Clothing
Wearing your favorite metal band t-shirt or rainbow stockings is a no go for interviews, but so is excessively sized or flashy jewelry. Even brightly-colored clothing is too much flair for most workplaces. Interviewers would rather see white or light-blue attire over neon green shirts or bright yellow pants. Trying too hard to stand out hurts your chances to land the job.
Cover Your Tattoos
Tattoos can also give off the wrong vibe for most workplaces, especially when you’re the face of the company. Wear long-sleeved clothing and whatever else is needed to cover up your body art. Dressing conservatively is always a safe bet when in doubt. The interviewer wants to know about you, not your clothing.
Fit In With the Company Culture
There are plenty of people with equal (or better) qualifications than you. But skills are just one part of the equation; some of them won’t have the potential to mesh with the company’s culture. Just because they don’t fit in, doesn’t mean you can’t. In fact, dressing appropriately can give you enough of an edge to get hired over other applicants.
What you wear says a lot about you and whether you’re going to fit in or not. Showing up in a suit when everyone’s wearing khakis tells the workplace you don’t get them. Figure out what their typical attire is and match it.
Not sure about how the average employee dresses in your new workplace? Research the company through contacts and explore their online footprint. Glassdoor is an excellent platform where employees post about their experience working at businesses. They’ll often comment on the expected work attire. Facebook and LinkedIn profiles and photo galleries are also ideal sources of intel. You can also visit the business to see what the employees are wearing.
Wear Something Comfortable
Thinking about how itchy your shirt is is the last thing you want on your mind during an interview. Wear something that you feel comfortable in that matches the company’s culture because that’s what you’ll be wearing every day at your new job. Your discomfort will show during the interview in one way or another; avoid clothes that you don’t feel 100 percent in.
Ditch the Strong Scents
You need to smell nice for your interview, but don’t go overkill. A shower with some mild deodorant is enough. You could get away with a very mild perfume, but what’s tame to you might be overbearing to your interviewer. Consider the fact that they may have allergies. Many workplaces are scent-free now, so ask ahead of time before you put on cologne or perfume.
Additionally, smells are strongly associated with memories. You don’t know if your perfume or cologne is going to trigger a favorable reaction or not. Maybe you’re inadvertently reminding the recruiter of their ex-partner. Err on the side of caution and keep the scents as neutral as possible.
The Ground Floor
We’re primarily talking about overdressing here, but it’s easy to go too far in the opposite direction. Dressing too casually is just as bad as overdressing. Stay on the safe side of the fashion spectrum and dress slightly over the mark if you’re unsure.
The key to dressing for success is going with a middle-of-the-road approach. Leave your flashy clothes and best colognes at home. Don’t let your appearance take anything away from the fact that you’re the right person for the job.