Whether you’re a new graduate fresh out of school or a seasoned pro on the hunt for new opportunities, going on a job interview can be pretty unnerving. If you want make a great first impression your appearance matters. Like it our not, hiring managers are absolutely judging the book by its cover. And it’s important for you to look like a best seller. You need to dress to impress. But what exactly does that mean? Back in the day, figuring out what to wear for a job interview was pretty simple. You would break out your best navy suit, white shirt and conservative tie. But today offices have a much more relaxed dress code and figuring out what to wear isn’t so easy. One of the hurdles to clear before landing your dream job is showing that you fit the corporate culture. But how do you do that?
- Ask around. You got this far! Chances are if you made it to the face-to-face interview stage of the hiring process you already have an in at the company. Did a friend recommend you for the job? Did you work with a recruiter? If so, they have the inside style track. Reach out! Find out what people are wearing at the company. And if you have to go in cold, keep it professional by dressing for the job above the position your interviewing for.
- Dress the part. If you’re interviewing with a super laidback company showing up in a stiff three-piece suit is not going to send the right message. Dressing down to align yourself with the office vibe shows that you have an understanding of the corporate culture. Not every interview requires a jacket and tie. However it’s always important to look respectful and that means showing up neat and pulled together. It’s never okay to wear ripped jeans, flip-flops, gym shorts or your lucky beer t-shirt.
- Know your industry. If you’re trying to break into finance, law or a more conservative enterprise, understand that each profession has it’s own dress code. Showing up for the big interview trying to re-invent the style wheel will only keep you out of the club. Attention new grads, if all the entry-level guys in your chose profession are wearing Brooks Brothers suits, you should too. Keep your personal pizazz on the down low and dress like you’re already part of the firm.
- Pay attention to detail. When it comes to landing the job, its dog-eat-dog out there! Paying attention to the small style details will separate you from the pack and give you the added boost of confidence to seal the deal. If you’re aiming for a corporate job, match your socks to your trousers, your shoes to your belt and get a shoeshine. And if you’re interviewing with a more casual company, remember there’s a fine line between dressing down and looking like you just rolled out of bed. Tame your bed head with Some Hair Cream, cover your tattoos and leave the gold chains at home.
- Put your best face forward. Let your resume and accomplishments do all the talking. Don’t let a lack of good grooming and hygiene become a distraction. Deal with dandruff, sweaty pit stains, adult acne, razor burn and runaway nose hair situations before sitting down with your potential boss. If you’re interviewing or looking for new opportunities you should always put your best face forward.