As if finding a job were not stressful enough, trying to find the perfect interview outfit can send a persons’ stress levels through the roof. Interviews are all about first impressions, from the resume to the interview outfit, this your best and sometimes only chance to impress your future employer. Oftentimes, recruiters require that you come to the interview dressed in either business casual or casual attire depending on the job itself. Now, dressing in business casual attire might sound like a breeze but there are a few important guidelines that must be followed. The same thing goes for casual interview attire.
Read on for rules and tips to help you define the appropriate business casual/casual attire for both men and women, along with some general advice on dos and do nots of what to wear for job interviews.
The most appropriate business casual attire for men are dress-slacks or khakis/chinos, button down shirts, clean solid colored socks, a belt and either a nice pair of dress shoes or loafers. Simple button down solid-colored shirts work great, as well as classic patterns, and light muted gingham. Stay away from polo shirts, as much as they might look nice, they are not completely appropriate for a job interview. If by chance you only have polos in your closet and low on cash, they can be dressed up with a nice sweater or cardigan. When choosing business casual pants, avoid jeans, ill-fitting pants, and wrinkled creases. ** Stick to neutral colors such as black, brown, grey, and navy blue because they will be easier to match shirt colors and patterns.
Even though, the attire may be casual, it is still best to stay away from shorts, tank tops, flip flops, and hats. Jeans are ok for casual interviews but make sure your jeans are clean, solid colored, and free from any rips and tears. They can be easily paired with a blazer or a shirt sleeve button to keep a professional look. Here you can also wear brighter colored and heavily printed or checkered button downs. It is still best to wear dress shoes or loafers. Another shoe option are boat shoes, such as Sperry’s and Doc Martens.
Similar too men’s business casual wear, women should also keep their attire comfortable and professional. Women should wear a combination of skirt or dress slacks, blouse, sweater, jackets and stockings with closed toe shoes. Avoid clothing that is ill-fitting, tight, short, or low-cut. As another option, you can wear a nice casual dress paired with a cardigan. Sandals or peep-toe shoes may be allowed in some offices but save flip-flops for the weekend. Also, do not forget to go easy on the perfumes, overpowering perfumes can be distracting and a turn-off. You want to be remembered for your qualities and skills, not your scent.
A pair of clean, polished, slim fit jeans should be a staple in your casual interview attire. They can easily be matched with a nice blouse, blazer, or button-down shirt. Same rules apply, when wearing jeans to an interview avoid jeans that are low-rise, acid washed, and make sure they are free from rips and tears.
In addition, wearing the right attire for an interview, it is important to make sure you are all around well-groomed. For both men and women, it means clean nails, and for women, if nails are polished make sure you stick to neutral colors. A fresh haircut or polished hairstyle will go a long way also.
No list is ever complete on what to wear to an interview but having a dress rehearsal 2-3 days before your interview will help prevent any wardrobe hiccups. If by chance you are still trying to figure out what to wear, do research on the company. Check out their website and social media pages. It will give you an inside look at the people at the company and see what they wear on a regular basis. After that, if still in doubt, always opt for formal attire.
** If you don’t have an iron, there are alternative ways to get rid of wrinkles out of clothes. One way is to put your clothes and a lightly damp cloth in the dryer for about 20 minutes, then immediately hang clothes on a hanger. Another easier way is to steam your clothes in the shower. Hang your clothes on the shower rod, turn on the shower, close the door, and go on about your normal routine.