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Can't decide what to wear to an interview? These tips will help!

Posted: 17th Aug 2018

As if job interviews weren’t stressful enough! Trying to remember the right things to say and do, you also have to think about what you’re going to wear. After all, interviews are all about showing yourself in the best possible light, and your interview outfit is part of that!

Showing up to an interview polished and dressed appropriately for the role you are interviewing for shows that you put effort into yourself and into understanding the organisation's culture and a good interview outfit can help with your confidence going into the interview. If you feel great on the outside it will calm the inner crazy person shrieking insecurities inside your head.

You’ve likely heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want,” but it’s also important to dress for the company for which you want to work.

A good rule of thumb is to dress one level above what people at the company wear on a day-to-day basis. For example, if they are business casual then it's best to break out that suit collecting dust in the back of your closet.

Sometimes, asking about the dress code can still leave you confused. For instance, you might hear that a company is “business professional.” But what's the difference between that and business casual? Or if a company describes its dress code as “casual,” how do you know what’s too casual?

In a business, a professional atmosphere, suits are the norm. Women might wear a skirt or suit with heels, while men may wear a blazer or suit jacket, button down shirt, suit trousers, a tie and dress shoes.

Maybe forget the suit when interviewing at a business casual company. Men might opt to wear dress slacks or chinos, a button down or polo shirt, a belt and dress shoes. Women might consider wearing a conservative dress, or a blouse (or sweater) with a skirt or dress pants and dress shoes or boots.

When interviewing at a casual office, it's still important to look polished and professional. (Save the jeans and flip-flops for when you actually have the job.) Men might consider wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt, khaki pants a belt, and dress shoes. Women might wear a collared shirt with pants or a pencil skirt, or a work dress.

You want the interviewer to focus on you, not your attire. You need to go easy on the jewellery, makeup, hair and clothing. Stay away from “outrageous” colours and patterns, as well as pieces that show off too much skin. Let your awesomeness speak for itself through the answers you give throughout the interview.

Overall, don’t worry too much, clothes aren’t the deal-breaker; few people solely get hired on their dress sense.

After all, interviews are nerve-wracking enough without having to worry about what you’re wearing.