Years back, dressing up for job interviews was simple. Put on a suit, and that’s it. For men and women alike, regardless of industry or job title. We were taught that hiring managers wouldn’t want to pick people that showed up sleazy to a job interview. It has changed though nowadays, the standard. And it’s a tad bit harder to pick an outfit for a job interviews because of the changes. Which interviews require a suit, or which one doesn’t? Some company would tell you what to wear, but others would like to see how you solve this yourselves.
Dress Appropriately for the Interview
Remember to let the corporate culture of the company guides you, if others dress up to work, you should too. Especially for an interview for a professional position at a traditional company, dress up professionally. However, if the interview is at a start-up or a media company, or something similar and others wear jeans and t-shirts to work, opt to a more relaxing attire, meaning business casual. Do not wear a t-shirt to the interview though. Make sure you’re wearing something better than your prospective co-workers or even the interviewer(s), convincing them that you’re a professional and respect the work enough to wear something appropriate.
Dressing to Impress for the Job
So, you’ve landed the job and you’ll be working in an environment where business casual, or just casual attire is appropriate for work. It’s important to avoid overdressing on your first day. It’s going to be awkward walking in with a three-piece suit while others are in t-shirts and jeans. And if you’re not sure what to wear on your first day, it’s better to ask. Standing out like a sore thumb on your first day is a really bad impression on yourself.
Business Professional Attire vs. Business Casual Attire
It’s important to ask about what to wear on your first day because you might’ve went to the interview on a casual Friday, or dress-down work day, so don’t assume that what you saw is how you’re supposed to dress on the job. And another reason is because business casual has a wide range of meaning to each employers. To some it means pressed khakis and a button-down long-sleeved shirt. To other companies it might mean jeans and a polo shirt. There’s no strict definition so following the appropriate dress-code is hard when you don’t know what it is.
Business Attire for Women
- Solid colour, conservative suit with a coordinated blouse, moderate shoes, tan or light pantyhose, limited jewellery.
- Neat, professional hairstyle, manicured nails, light makeup, little or no perfume.
Business Attire for Men
- Solid colour, conservative suit, long sleeve shirt, conservative tie, dark socks, professional shoes.
- Neat hairstyle, trimmed nails, little or no cologne or aftershave.
Business Casual Attire for Women
- Khaki, corduroy, twill or cotton pants or skirts, neatly pressed.
- Sweaters, twinsets, cardigans, polo/knit shirts.
- Solid colours work better than bright patterns.
Business Casual Attire for Men
- Khaki, gabardine or cotton pants, neatly pressed.
- Cotton long-sleeved button-down shirts, pressed, polo or knit shirts with a collar.
- Leather shoes and belt.
- Tie optional.
Pair it with Good Shoes
Don’t you dare think that your shoes aren’t important for your interviews and/or work. Maybe after you’ve work for sometimes you’d wear flip-flops to the office, but don’t do that during interview or your first day. Get a decent pair of shoes so that you’d look presentable and not out of touch with the dress code.
Here are some suggestions of shoes from Madre Collection for women:
What Not to Wear
When the dress code is business casual, don’t ever think that it’s appropriate to wear your old t-shirt, ripped jeans and old sneakers. Mind the ‘business’ part of business casual and leave your old comfortable clothes at home. But with that said, you might want to avoid choosing outfit that makes you uncomfortable. It’s a tad bit tough but remember you’re trying to create a good first impression, and looking like you’re wearing your granddad’s suit surely won’t help. Find something appropriate and fit the dress code but at the same time be comfortable.