What to Wear to your Next Interview: Top Tips for Men & Women
You have succeeded in the first step of your job application. Now, you have an interview coming up and need to make a great first impression. While you know that you are qualified for this role, you may be unsure of what to wear for the interview.
I want to share some tried and tested tips to help you decide what to wear to your next job interview. But first, let us go over why the way you dress matters in an interview.
Why does your interview outfit matter?
According to a research study by Nvision, 95% of interviewers view a candidate’s appearance as a direct reflection of their professionalism. Choosing an appropriate outfit shows your judgment to the interviewer. Additionally, it helps make a strong first impression and shows respect for the company and the position.
Another common reason for dressing up well for an interview is to boost one’s self-confidence. Looking good has a direct effect on self-confidence as it improves your chances of nailing the interview – 40% of interviewers consider confidence as an important deciding factor.
What to wear to a video interview?
Over the past year, Zoom and other video interview platforms, such as MS Teams and Google Meet have become commonplace. While in-person interviews may return soon as things go back to normal, video interviews will retain their relevance. Choosing what to wear for a video interview requires some decisions that are distinct from a face-to-face interview.
Here are some tips to help you get ready for video interviews:
1. Soft colors – Brighter colors like red, orange, yellow can be distracting on video, and it’s best to avoid those. Try to avoid black and other dark tones without any texture. They may look awkward during a call, especially if you don’t have a well-lit room.
2. Solid colors – Choose these in your outfits, including your ties, over patterns. White and grey options are good choices to go with as they are less distracting and are more appropriate for a video interview.
Overall, it is best to dress simply in your video interview to ensure that you shine through without competition from distracting clothing. Here are some tips on how you should dress for an interview, face-to-face or otherwise :
What should men wear to an interview?
It goes without saying that the ideal interview outfit varies for men and women. For men, the traditional choice would be a suit and a tie. While it may be too formal for interviews at startups, it is the best choice for most higher-level positions even today. However, even if you do not own a suit, you can use simple clothing items to pull off a professional outfit.
Here are some tips that will help :
1. Light colored choices – They work well with crisp cotton shirts worn under a blazer. Clothing items like a Khaki blazer allows you to walk the fine line of business casual. It will help you dress appropriately for the interview and avoid the risk of looking too formal.
2. Navy blue – A blazer of this color will always work with light-colored shirts, making the interview outfit choice that much easier. It’s a flexible choice which pairs nicely with most semi-formal shirt options as well.
3. Grey is the new black – Modern business formal with a grey suit and tie is a strong choice. You can easily choose to wear it to the interview, especially if it’s for a professional role. Light stripes and patterns give your attire some character, which will help with the visual first impression for an interview.
What should women wear to an interview?
Like men, women must also put thought into what to wear for an interview. While choosing the interview outfits for women, here are some things to keep in mind :
1. Navy blue always works – This statement is as relevant for women as it is for men. A navy blue blazer works well with a simple blouse or a button-down shirt. It is simple, versatile, and an excellent choice for what to wear to an interview for women.
2. Sweaters and Blazers – For a slightly more casual look, try a sweater with a pair of black pants. This outfit is the quintessential business casual look and is more comfortable than most other options. You can also convert it to a more formal look by pairing this interview outfit with a blazer.
3. Cardigans and Dresses – A cardigan or dress with simple, understated prints is a great choice for your interview outfit. Limit it to solid colors and subtle tones with the print as it gives some character to your outfit while not going too overboard.
While the outfits may be a bit different for men and women, what makes an ideal interview outfit remains the same – it should help you feel confident and comfortable. Keeping it simple is always a good strategy.
What not to wear to an interview?
Knowing what to avoid when dressing for an interview will help you stay away from common mistakes. You must remember that this interview is about you – muted colors without a lot of pattern and lettering will ensure that the focus is on you.
Here are the key things to avoid while choosing your interview outfit:
1. Limit the accessories you wear – While it is tempting to wear your new watch or a shiny belt, they are always a bad choice in an interview outfit.
2. Keep the colors in your outfits to soft or muted tones – a flashy outfit with bright colors is not appropriate in the formal environment of an interview.
3. Avoid going too casual – The startup you are interviewing at may prefer more casual clothing than other companies.
However, that is not a reason to dress too casually in an interview. Business casual is always the way to go when you have to make this choice. Jobs in the technology sector, however, is a different story – with many firms preferring very casual outfits.
The goal of choosing the right interview outfit is to make a strong visual impression and allow you to be your fully confident self. You might be overwhelmed by the decision of what to wear to an interview. However, you can look and feel good in your job interview outfit by keeping it simple. It is always a good idea to do some research about the company you are interviewing at.
Always remember, choosing the right outfit for an interview is only part of the puzzle. There are other pieces that, with some effort, will help you ace your interview. Dressing the part and aligning with the company culture will help get your foot in the door and a step towards your dream job.
How can we help?
Learn more about how our interview preparation service can help, coach, and empower you to position yourself and get your next job. Book a free initial consultation to see the difference it could make to you at your upcoming interviews.