Dressing For Your Interview
Work attire has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Until recently, work attire was very conservative with men and women both wearing full business dress. All this has changed thanks to Silicon Valley. According to an article published in the Atlantic (2017), business casual was born in Silicon Valley in the early 1980’s and originally comprised men wearing khaki pants, sensible shoes, and button down or polo shirts. However, today business casual is obsolescent and many people in the workforce (especially Silicon Valley) wear jeans, yoga pants, and T-shirts. However, how should you be dressing for your interview?
You Can Never Be Too Careful
Regardless of the corporate culture with dress and appearance, you can never be too careful when dressing for an interview. The first impression you make to an employer is the most important one. Despite the typical fashion that is worn by employees within the organization, it is always best to dress professionally and err on the formal and conservative side. After all the effort you have gone through to get the interview, the last thing you want to be passed over for not dressing accordingly. Below is recommended attire for both men and women for the first interview:
- Solid color, conservative full suit with jacket – Stick with dark grey or navy
- White or light blue long sleeve shirt
- A conservative tie that is not too busy
- A professional belt that matches your shoes
- Dark socks
- Clean and shined shoes
- Limit jewelry to a watch and wedding band
- Clean haircut and trimmed facial hair (if you have it)
- Skip the cologne or be very sparse with it
- Solid dark color, conservative suit, or appropriate length skirt/dress that’s fitted but not too snug
- If wearing a skirt, it should match your blazer in color and cover your thighs when you sit
- Coordinated blouse – Do not show too much cleavage
- Moderate closed-toe shoes (medium-height heels are fine)
- Limit jewelry to a watch, wedding/engagement band, and conservative earrings
- Clean hairstyle
- Manicured nails
- Sparse make-up and perfume
- A conservative and professional handbag or purse
Dressing appropriately for an interview could easily become the deciding factor for being hired when the decision-maker must decide between two equally qualified candidates. Even if everyone in the company dresses very casually, you will be far better off dressing in business attire versus trying to fit in right away by wearing what everyone is. Also, you could always ask HR or the person who invited you to the interview what is expected for you to wear.
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