What to Wear to Your Next Job Interview: A Practical Guide

So you’ve passed the first round of phone screening, and now the hiring manager wants to meet you in person. You’ve prepared by researching the company, practicing your replies to common interview questions, and you’ve come up with some intelligent questions to ask your interviewer. There’s only one thing left to do – decide what you’re wearing to your interview.

Wear to Your Next Job Interview

You may think the way you’re dressed isn’t as important as nailing every interview question and being qualified for the position, but you’d be wrong.

The truth is 65% of hiring managers say that the clothes an interviewee wears can be the deciding factor when they interview two similar candidates, and 37% of employers say they decide who to hire based on the way the candidate is dressed. 

Here’s what to wear (and what not to wear) to your next interview to make sure you’re dressed for success.

With Accessories, Less is More

When choosing what accessories to wear, remember that less is always more in an interview setting.

You’ll need somewhere to store your portfolio, extra copies of your resume, and belongings. Consider a briefcase, smart leather backpack, or a large purse – but stick to neutral colors.

When it comes to pieces of jewelry, women should avoid long, dangling earrings and too many bracelets – rather opt for a single piece of jewelry. Men should limit their jewelry to a watch and a wedding band.

Choose smart shoes in a neutral color, but avoid very high heels and platforms. Both men and women should avoid hats at all costs. 

Choose Solid Colors

You want the hiring manager focus on you – not your brightly-patterned shirt. Avoid busy patterns and choose solid colors instead – but stick to standard business colors and avoid wearing loud colors like red or orange. If you want to add a pop of color, choose a slightly brighter scarf or tie.

The safest colors to wear during an interview are navy blue and grey. Navy blue and grey are not as severe as black, and they can convey an air of class and sophistication.

Invest in a Tailored Suit

The importance of wearing a suit that fits correctly can’t be understated. A bespoke tailored suit that fits well leaves a better impression than a ready-to-wear one, and it’s an essential item of formal attire.

Wearing a suit that’s too large or too small can look unprofessional and give the impression that you lack attention to detail.

When getting fitted for a suit, the shoulders should fit your shoulders well, sleeves should hang to where your thumb meets your wrist, and the jacket should fit smartly against your body. 

Views on Facial Hair, Piercings, and Ink

Although around 1 in 5 people has a tattoo, unfortunately, many hiring managers and employers have an aversion to them. Bear in mind, though; this does not apply to every industry.

If you’re unsure about tattoos, piercings, and facial hair, it’s best to play it safe. Remove facial piercings, arrive clean-shaven, and cover up your tattoos until you’re sure of company policy.

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