As if job interviews weren’t stressful enough, with trying to remember the right things to say and questions to ask, you also have to think about what you’re going to wear. What you wear to an interview is your first impression without even saying a word.

Showing up to an interview dressed appropriately for the role you are interviewing for shows that you have put effort into understanding the organization’s culture.  Even though we have always been told to dress for the job you want, we must think about dressing for which the company we want to work. The suit is not a universal standard anymore.

Dress Terms Defined

Business Professional: Women wear a skirt or pant suit with dress shoes, while men may wear a blazer or suit jacket, button down shirt, suit pants, a tie and dress shoes.

Business Casual: Men wear dress slacks or khakis, a button down or polo shirt, a belt and dress shoes. Women wear a conservative dress, or a blouse (or sweater) with a skirt or dress pants and dress shoes or boots.

Casual: When interviewing at a casual office, it’s still important to look polished and professional. (Save the jeans and flip-flops for home and going out.) Men wear a long-sleeved dress shirt, khaki pants a belt, and dress shoes. Women wear a collared shirt with pants or a skirt, or a work dress.

Every company is different in what they consider appropriate workplace attire. Below are some tips to ensure you dress for success every time.

  1. Research the company’s culture online.
  2. A good rule of thumb is to dress one level above what folks at the company wear on a day-to-day basis.
  3. Pay attention to details.  Be sure your outfit is not wrinkled, stained, ripped or ill-fitting.
  4. Comb your hair, brush your teeth and be sure not to put on to much cologne.
  5. Keep it simple.  Wear only a few pieces of jewelry.  Clothes should not be wild in color or patterns.

We wish you luck as you interview for new jobs!