Your attire for job interviews is the first thing to be judged and scrutinized. You only get one chance to make a great first impression. The interviewer may not remember what you are wearing but they should remember that your appearance is polished and professional.
In a job interview, you are being judged on absolutely everything including your image and appearance. It is imperative that you make the right decision on what to wear to job interviews so you look professional and can be taken seriously.
Regardless of what the company dress code is, the default standard for job interview clothes is always conservative attire. When in doubt, go ahead and wear a suit or business attire.
But what if the Hiring Managers tells you in advance that the dress code is casual since the interview is on a Friday? They probably gave you that tip so you can dress appropriately for the job interview.
So what do you do?
The rule of thumb you should use when selecting your interview clothes is to dress 1-step above the dress code. Here’s what I mean. If it’s business casual, your interview outfit is business attire. If it’s casual, your attire for the job interview should be business casual.
So, if it’s a casual Friday, and you have specifically been told what the dress code is, don’t make the mistake of dressing like all the other employees. It’s fine for them to wear jeans, sandals and shorts but they already work there. You also don’t want to be overly conservative and overdressed (especially if you have been informed that it’s a casual day at the office). So, focus on business casual attire.
Here’s a quick checklist for you to follow:
Clothes – Wear dress pants or a dress skirt and stick to neutral colors like navy, brown, gray and black. Wear a blouse or dress shirt, again in nice neutral colors or pastel colors. Stick to white or light pink, blue and green. Stay away from bold colors like red that can be distracting.
Shoes – Everyone else may be wearing sandals and flip-flops but you should always wear closed shoes like pumps to give you that business look. Stay away from the six-inch heels that you would wear on a Friday night to hang with the ladies. There’s nothing worse than tripping in the hallway at the interview.
Jewelry – Even though it’s a Friday, wear minimal jewelry that works with your overall look. Nothing fancy and nothing that dangles or makes noise when you move your head to speak.
Hair – Your hairstyle can make or break your entire interview outfit. Again, you want it to be conservative and polished, not messy and casual. Opt to pull your hair back in a ponytail instead of a casual, free spirited “hanging out at the beach” look.
Purse – A casual and trendy bag isn’t going to cut it for a business casual look. Bring along a small purse or handbag or a briefcase or portfolio with your resumé, references and other important documents that still conveys a conservative and professional look.
Choosing what to wear to job interviews on Fridays doesn’t mean you have to look less professional, right?