Not sure what to wear to make a good impression in your first interview? Or maybe you just need to update your wardrobe because it’s been a while? Well, hopefully these tips can give you some direction about what you want to do about your interview look!
For the Gentlemen
For guys, a button-down shirt, blazer or suit jacket, and ironed trousers are the go-to. The color of your jacket and trousers should match, and be within the color range of black, blue, or gray. Avoid checkered or striped statement suits if possible (save those for a fun dinner party)! If you don’t have a suit jacket or blazer, a nice cardigan will work just fine. If you want to add some personal touches to your outfit, you could start with a colored or gingham button-down shirt. Just make sure that the color you pick isn’t super flashy and won’t clash with the rest of your outfit. You can accessorize with a colored or patterned tie/bow tie. For those of you who don’t know how to tie a tie, this would be a good opportunity to learn from someone who knows how or to learn how to do a fancy knot by practicing with a Youtube tutorial! Do not wear sneakers to an interview. It doesn’t matter if you have an all-black pair of chucks or vans, just don’t. Imagine that you’re putting all your effort into looking hella fresh for that interview you’re going to nail and then ruining it with a pair of your ratty sneakers. Invest in a pair of dress shoes you can wear for any occasion instead.
For the Ladies
Business suit or dress? What about a nice pencil skirt? Well, for starters, ladies have a lot more wiggle-room when shopping for their interview look. You can stick with the standard monochrome (black and white) color scheme, or play with pastels. Colors like maroon, baby-blue, and khaki could work if you find a cute (but appropriate dress or blouse). Of course, navy-blues and grays would work as well. If you wish to wear an outer layer, a blazer/suit jacket or a cardigan sweater would do the trick. Just make sure it’s not too flashy or too excessive (with the lace, frills, etc). If you are wearing a dress or skirt, make sure that it is not too short. You have every right to wear what you want, but an interview is one of those times where you want to convey to your potential employer that you are professional and serious about wanting the position you applied for. If you can’t help that your skirt or dress is on the shorter side, wear a pair of tights or pantyhose underneath. For footwear, try not to wear stilettos or platforms. They’ll look pretty but if you know you’ll be doing any kind of physical activity or just standing for long periods of time, wear flats or boot heels. Match your shoes with your interview outfit and you have a complete outfit!
If you are a student, the goal is to not look like you stayed up all night cramming or playing games. Wash your hair. Shave if you need to. If you feel like going the extra mile and styling your hair, good for you! Keep your hair out of your face so you can make that assertive eye contact with your potential employer! For personal care (guys), put on some lotion for some extra smooth skin (especially if you just shaved) or some chapstick for your chapped lips. For ladies, go all out with the makeup if you want! (Just abstain from glittery or overly-dramatic looks. Save those smokey eyes for a fun party). If you’re not familiar with makeup, there’s nothing wrong with just applying a bit of concealer, color on your cheeks, and some lipstick. Of course, there’s always YouTube if you need it!
Last Minute Tips
If you’re the type to get sweaty hands during an interview, apply some hand sanitizer beforehand. The alcohol will evaporate and so will the sweat on your clammy hands. Stand up straight. Shoulders back. Make eye contact when you greet your interviewer. Avoid a limp or overly-strong grip when you shake their hand (there’s a fine line between those two that you must find). There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to think about your answers to questions. It’s better to show you take your time with decisions rather than stuttering and trailing off when you are supposed to be showing them how qualified and confident you are.
So that’s it! Now you know how to look and act in an interview. Take a deep breath. Count to 10. Think through your answers. The rest is up to fate!