What should I wear to a job interview?

Do not underestimate the power of the first impression. When it comes to a job interview, it is all you have. This is a minuscule slice of time when a potential employer gets a peek at your essence, so attention must be paid! Especially now, when competition is fierce and the stakes are higher, it is critical for you to consider not only what you will say to impress your interviewer, but also how you will look the minute you walk into that office. The smallest detail can set you apart from your competition or break you, so choose carefully.


It’s essential to appear professional, capable and confident. These are the key points you have to keep in mind. Now, let’s discuss these in detail.


Your ensemble should complement your skill set, never detract or distract from your assets. The impression you want to leave should say, “I have good judgment, I am competent and you are a true visionary if you choose to hire me.”


Whatever position you’re applying for, keep your look relevant.


1.  Wear a suit if it is an office, bank, investment company, government, PR, administration, you get it, position. A suit says you are serious, you take your job serious and you understand the importance of a great professional impression. Your future boss will appreciate it. Any boss wants to have a team of people who know how to present themselves and the organization they work for.


2.  Make sure you’re comfortable sitting or standing in what you plan to wear to your interview. You do want your look to convey organization and structure; however, you do not want to appear uncomfortable or stiff.


3.  Even in the middle of summer, a jacket is a must - it says poise and maturity. If you are like the rest of humanity, you probably perspire under pressure. The more layers between you and the rest of the world, the better.


4.  Make sure the trousers or pencil skirt are of comfortable and proper length (a skirt should be knee or below-the-knee length).


5.   Wear a watch. If you don’t have a watch, get one. A classic men’s watch is an ultimate all-business look for men and women! Your future boss will notice you tastefully integrated punctuality in your look, and punctuality is a must and a sign of politeness.


6. Be mindful of the color choices of your ensemble. Aim for neutrals - ubiquitous black, navy, brown, gray.


7.  I cannot stress enough the importance of clean shoes. Shine your shoes the day before.    And do not dare wear flip-flops or thong/strappy sandals to a job interview. Invest in a pair of well-made (Italian or Spanish) leather mid-heel pumps or classic men’s shoes with no large buckles or logos (nobody cares if you love to drape yourself in Gucci everything; save it for your friends and family to admire). Clean, classic, well-made shoes is such an important detail and doesn’t go unnoticed in high business circles.



Even if you’re applying for a creative job, these are the DON’Ts:


1.  Again, DO NOT wear flip-flops or strappy sandals.

2. Don’t wear loud colors or jewelry.

3. No heavy makeup allowed. You’re applying for a job, not a beauty pageant.

4. No cleavage, gapping between buttons, NOTHING see-through.

5.  No ruffles and/or heavy embellishments.

6. Nothing should be wrinkled and/or have pet hair on it. Keep a lint-roller in a car, if you have to.



Research the company well and know the details about the history, work, mission and community work it does.


Note: If you really want that job, research the organization as if your life depends on it. Find out what makes this company culture unique, what the core values are, what charities it supports (if any), and don’t forget to check the press room (it usually is on the organization’s website) in case the organization recently had a two-page spread in a local business journal. Believe me, it will pay off.



Spit your gum before you walk into the office, take a few deep breaths and believe you can do it. And, most importantly, you’re the best candidate and well deserve it.



Good luck. And we hope these tips help.

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