So you've dazzled them with your resume, blown them away with your exceptional oration skills (if you've had a phone interview), ensured that nothing shady cropped up in a Google search of your name, and in so doing have scored an in-person interview for a prospective job. Congratulations! But oh, dear! Whatever will you wear?
For an interview, you really can't go wrong with the classic button-up shirt, black blazer, and dress pants. I know, I know.. there are some companies where the standard attire may be jeans and a t-shirt and you may be afraid of giving them the impression that you're a business snob. The truth is that the real message you would send is that you're a professional and you take this company and its position seriously. I donned the more conservative look in my interviews for my college internship as well as for my first full-time position and both companies were business casual.
To help you select your perfect interview attire, I have compiled the following list of things you should keep in mind:
- Weather - Not such a problem if it's cold but interview attire can be painful in the summer. If it's going to be hot, make sure you have plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and bring a towel to wipe off any sweat before going in. You may also want to bring a change of clothes (After my interview in 90-degree weather, I found a local coffee shop and changed into a t-shirt and shorts in the bathroom. Much better!).
- Nerves - Do you sweat when you're nervous? No matter what the weather is doing, bring a towel or something to wipe yourself off before you go in to meet people. Also, it sounds counter-intuitive but you may want to put on that black blazer, which will hide signs of body perspiration a lot better than a white button-up shirt.
- Body Type - Wear clothing that flatters your body (another reason to wear the suit, which looks good on everyone). Not only will you look better but you will feel better and more confident. Try on your outfit a couple days before the interview to make sure you feel comfortable in it and you haven't grown out of it. You don't want to be uncomfortably pinching and pulling at your clothes in front of your potential employer!
- Shoes - If you aren't used to wearing dressy shoes, don't make the mistake of wearing brand new ones the day of your interview. Take a couple days to wear them in so you don't wind up with sore, blistered feet. Also, ladies, if you're a klutz like me, you may want to wear shoes where the heel is no higher than an inch and doesn't come to a fine, ankle-breaking point.
Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer
firstname.lastname@example.org | @katie_hazard