3 Things to Consider Before Dressing for Your Next Interview

May 9, 2016

Career Advice

2429491152_735a015cb1_zYou feel the pressure to look perfect for your interview, but what is exactly perfect anymore? Are you supposed to look like the other company employees or a step better? Is there a new “hipster” way of dressing for an interview? Are the expectations of twenty years ago still there today?

If you haven’t job searched in years, don’t fret: the 411 on dressing for a successful interview hasn’t changed a whole lot. Here are some of the new things you may want to consider in addition to being well-pressed and well-dressed, but not overdone. Remember, all things being equal, the way you dress could be the tie-breaker on who gets the job offer. Don’t ignore it!

Suit or No Suit: The conservative dark suit is still the thing for industries that have a formal dress code, i.e. law, finance, and government. For other industries, the style of suit has changed. You may notice a difference in the slimmer cut of men’s pants, the patterns on trendy shirts, and slimmer, funkier patterned ties. These are options for you, but don’t overdo the patterns and colors. Simple and sleek is best. And never forgo a consultation with the tailor. For women, there’s more of an option for mixing and matching these days. An all-black suit is not necessary anymore. You may try a skirt, a nice blouse and a blazer, or even a classic dress with a cardigan or blazer.

Company Culture: Kim Zoller, CEO of Image Dynamics, says, “You have to know your audience.” It’s critical that you do your research on the companies you are interviewing with. The worst case scenario is showing up to an interview in clothing that is completely unrepresentative of their culture. For instance, some companies are proud of their casual culture and a suit-and-tie could be a big turn-off in an interview. Don’t be afraid to ask your HR contact what’s the best attire for an interview. A “hack” is to ask what the employees wear to work and dress just one step above this.

Comfort: Do yourself a big favor and wear something that makes you feel good about yourself. That’s one less thing to worry about in an already nerve-wracking setting. Don’t overlook comfort. If you’re wearing an outfit that’s new or that you’ve haven’t worn in years, give it a test run and make sure it’s not too constricting, too tight, or even too baggy. How you’re feeling will show on your face and in the way you move. If what you’re wearing causes discomfort, it can negatively impact your interview. And don’t forget to apply this rule to your shoes! Practical, comfortable, and stylish shoes aren’t hard to find. After all, you want to put your best foot forward–not a sore one!

Image via audiophilia/Flickr.


About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. Our Top 10 Interview Posts | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - January 24, 2017

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