You've got the perfect resume, your cover letter is on point, and you've landed an interview for your dream job. As you prepare for the meeting, one question lingers: what should you wear to that job interview? Whether you're contemplating the perfect skirt, dress, or trousers, choosing the appropriate attire for a job interview is crucial in projecting confidence and making the best first impression.
First things first, you want to make sure you're dressing for the job you want—not the job you have. Your outfit should reflect professionalism, confidence, and a bit of personality. And while there's no one-size-fits-all answer to what to wear, there are some general guidelines to follow. So go ahead and see our tips on how to dress for an interview!
Read more about:
- Different types of skirts for an interview
- Wearing a dress to a job interview
- What about trousers?
- Heels, accessories and makeup
Whether you're interviewing for a corporate role or a creative position, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll break down the do's and don'ts of styling for job interviews. So sit back, relax, and let us help you dress for success.
Making the Right First Impression with Your Interview Attire
The age-old adage, "First impressions last," rings especially true when it comes to job interviews. Your attire, often before any words are exchanged, speaks volumes about your professionalism, attention to detail, and understanding of the company culture. In a competitive job market, dressing appropriately can be the difference between landing your dream job and going back to the drawing board.
The Power of the First Impression
When you walk into an interview room, your attire is your first introduction. It sets the tone for the conversation and can either instill confidence in your potential employer or raise red flags. A study found that interviewers take just 90 seconds to decide if they will hire a candidate, and a significant part of this decision is based on the candidate's attire. This emphasizes the importance of not just wearing a suit but choosing the best attire that aligns with the company's dress code and culture.
Navigating the Complex World of Dress Codes
Understanding the company's dress code is paramount. While some businesses maintain a formal dress code, requiring suits and ties, others might have a more relaxed approach, especially in the era of remote work and startups. Here are some tips to navigate this:
Business Formal: This is the most traditional dress code. For men, it typically means a dark-colored suit and tie. For women, it could mean a business suit or a professional dress. Always ensure your attire is neat, clean, and well-fitted.
Business Casual: A step down from the formal dress code, but still professional. Men can opt for khakis or dress pants with a collared shirt, while women can choose between skirts, slacks, and blouses. A blazer can add a touch of formality if you're unsure about the company's exact dress code.
Casual: This is common in startups and creative agencies. Jeans might be acceptable, but ensure they're neat and paired with a more formal top, like a button-down shirt or blouse.
Industry-Specific Attire: Some industries have unique dress codes. For instance, tech companies might lean more towards casual, while law firms stick to business formal. Always research the industry norms.
What Not to Wear for a Job Interview: Avoiding Common Pitfalls
While it's essential to know what to wear, insights on what not to wear are equally crucial. Here are some general guidelines:
Overly Casual Clothes: Even if the company has a casual dress code, avoid wearing shorts, flip-flops, or any attire that looks like you're headed to the beach.
Loud and Flashy Items: Neon colors, flashy jewelry, or clothes with controversial slogans can be distracting and might not convey the best impression.
Ill-fitted Clothes: Clothes that are too tight or too loose can be uncomfortable and might make you appear unkempt. Always opt for well-fitted attire.
Overpowering Scents: While it's good to smell pleasant, strong perfumes or colognes can be off-putting. It's best to stick to subtle fragrances or none at all.
Tailoring Your Attire to the Company Culture and Role
Every company has its unique culture, and your attire should reflect your understanding of it. If you're interviewing for a managerial position in a traditional business setting, a sharp suit might be the best choice. However, if you're aiming for a creative role in a modern startup, showing a bit of personality through your attire, while still looking professional, can be a plus.
Midi Pencil Skirt for an interview: A Classic and Professional Style
When it comes to dressing for a job interview, it's important to choose an outfit that reflects your professionalism and potential value as an employee. The classic midi pencil skirt is a timeless option that is both chic and appropriate for most professional settings.
Why? The length of the pencil skirt hits just below the knee, providing ample coverage while still maintaining a sophisticated silhouette. The slim shape of the skirt also creates a polished look that exudes confidence and competence.
Consider pairing your midi pencil skirt with a crisp blouse or tailored blazer for a complete and cohesive outfit. You can also experiment with different prints, textures, and colors to add some personality to your look while still maintaining professionalism.
Remember, the way you present yourself in an interview can greatly impact your chances of landing the job. By choosing a classic and professional style like the midi pencil skirt, you'll be sure to leave a positive impression on any potential employer.
A-Line Skirt: Feminine Yet Formal
When it comes to job interviews, you want to make sure you nail both professionalism and style. One skirt style that checks both boxes is the A-line skirt. This feminine yet formal silhouette is versatile and universally flattering, making it a go-to choice for many professionals.
An A-line skirt typically flares out from the waist in an "A" shape, creating a structured yet comfortable look. It's also easy to pair with different tops and shoes, making it a reliable staple in your wardrobe. Opt for a neutral color like black or navy for a classic look or experiment with bolder hues or patterns that still maintain a professional vibe.
Pair your A-line skirt with a tucked-in blouse and closed-toe heels for a polished look that's sure to impress during your interview. And don't forget to choose high-quality fabrics like wool or cotton that show you mean business. With an A-line skirt in your closet, you'll be ready to tackle any job interview in style.
Wrap Skirt: Sophisticated and Figure-Flattering
When it comes to choosing the perfect skirt for a job interview, a wrap skirt is a great option. This style of skirt is both sophisticated and figure-flattering, making it an ideal choice for professional settings.
The wrap style means that the skirt has a flattering shape and can be adjusted to fit perfectly. This makes it suitable for all body types, as it can be cinched in at the waist or looser if needed. Additionally, the flowing nature of this style creates a feminine silhouette without being too revealing.
Not only does a wrap skirt look good, but it's also comfortable to wear for extended periods. Sitting and walking around during interviews can be daunting enough, without having to worry about your outfit being restrictive or uncomfortable.
When selecting a wrap skirt for a job interview, opt for neutral colors such as black or navy blue. A knee-length version is also recommended for maintaining a professional appearance. Pair with a simple blouse or tailored jacket to complete the look.
Overall, the combination of flattering shape, comfort and versatility makes a wrap skirt an excellent choice when considering what to wear for your next job interview.
Patterns and Prints: Opt for Solid Colors for interviews
When it comes to choosing the right outfit for a job interview, it's important to consider the colors, patterns and prints. While a bold print or pattern may seem like a fun choice, it's best to err on the side of caution and opt for a solid color. Solid colors are classic and timeless, and they won't distract from your professional demeanor or the focus of the interview.
If you're set on incorporating a pattern or print, choose something subtle and understated, such as a small polka dot or a thin pinstripe. These patterns can add a touch of personality to a skirt or dress without overwhelming it.
It's also important to consider the colors you choose. Neutral colors like black, navy, and gray are always a safe bet, but don't be afraid to add a pop of color with a bold red or deep green. Just make sure the color complements your skin tone and doesn't clash with the rest of your outfit.
Remember, the goal of your outfit is to make a professional and polished impression, so keep it simple and understated. A solid-colored skirt paired with a classic blouse and a tailored blazer is a timeless look that will never go out of style.
Pair Your Skirt With a Structured Top
When it comes to choosing a skirt for a job interview, it's important to remember that the skirt is only half of the equation. To make the best impression, you'll need to pair your skirt with a structured top. This will help you look put-together and professional, while also highlighting your sense of style.
But what exactly constitutes a structured top?
A blouse is a great option for pairing with a skirt. Look for one that is made from a crisp, tailored material, such as cotton or silk. Avoid anything too sheer or flowy, as this can come across as too casual.
For a more traditional look, consider a button-down shirt. Again, look for one that is made from a crisp, tailored material. Avoid anything too bold or patterned, as this can be distracting.
If you're interviewing for a more casual position, a sweater can be a great option. Look for one that is made from a structured material, such as wool or cashmere. Avoid anything too bulky or oversized, as this can make you look sloppy.
No matter what type of top you choose, make sure it fits well and is neatly pressed. This will help you look polished and will ensure that you make the best possible impression. Avoid prints or big logos to keep it professional.
Dresses: Versatile and Timeless
When it comes to choosing the right attire for a job interview, dresses can be a great alternative to skirts. They offer a versatile and polished look while providing a complete outfit in one piece. Dresses come in various styles and lengths, allowing you to find the perfect option that suits your personal style and the job you're applying for.
A classic sheath dress is an excellent choice for a job interview. Its streamlined silhouette exudes professionalism and sophistication. Look for a dress that hits just above or at the knee, as this length is generally considered appropriate for most professional settings. Opt for neutral colors like black, navy, or gray to maintain a timeless and elegant look.
Decent black dresses for a job interview
Another option to consider is a fit-and-flare dress. This style is flattering on many body types as it cinches at the waist and flares out at the skirt, creating a feminine and polished silhouette. Pair it with a tailored blazer or cardigan to add an extra layer of professionalism.
When choosing a dress for a job interview, ensure that the neckline and overall fit are modest and professional. Avoid anything too revealing or form-fitting, as it may detract from your qualifications and skills. Remember, you want the focus to be on your professionalism and capabilities rather than your outfit.
Trousers: Chic and Confident
If skirts or dresses are not your preferred choice, don't worry—trousers can be just as stylish and appropriate for a job interview. A well-tailored pair of pants can convey confidence and professionalism while offering comfort and versatility.
Opt for tailored trousers in classic cuts and neutral colors such as black, navy, or gray. Straight-leg or slightly tapered styles are usually the most flattering and professional-looking options. Ensure that the length is appropriate—your trousers should graze the top of your shoes or fall just above the ankle.
To create a complete and polished outfit, pair your trousers with a blouse or button-down shirt. Look for blouses made from high-quality fabrics like silk or cotton, and choose tops that fit well and complement your pants. Tuck in your blouse for a more refined look or opt for a tailored blazer to add an extra layer of sophistication.
Accessories such as a belt, structured handbag, or simple jewelry can elevate your outfit and showcase your attention to detail. Remember to keep your accessories minimal and tasteful, avoiding anything too bold or distracting.
Complete the Look: Heels, Accessories and Makeup
Now that you've chosen the perfect skirt for your job interview, it's important to complete the look with the right shoes, accessories, and makeup.
When it comes to shoes, stick to closed-toe pumps in a neutral color such as black, nude, or navy. Avoid anything too flashy or trendy, as it may distract from your professionalism. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished before the interview.
Keep it simple with accessories - a watch, stud earrings, and a simple necklace are all great choices. Avoid anything too bold or distracting. Remember, the focus should be on you, not your accessories.
For makeup, keep it natural and subtle. Stick to neutral colors for eyeshadow and lipstick, and make sure your foundation is blended well. Avoid anything too glittery or bold, as it may come across as unprofessional. Make sure your nails are clean and trimmed, and avoid bright or bold nail polish colors.
Remember, the goal is to look polished and put-together, without drawing too much attention to your appearance. By following these tips, you'll be sure to make a great impression at your job interview.
In conclusion, when deciding what to wear to a job interview, it's essential to consider both your personal style and the expectations of the professional setting. While skirts, dresses, and trousers are all viable options, the key is to choose attire that exudes professionalism, confidence, and a touch of your personality.
A skirt, such as a classic midi pencil skirt or an A-line skirt, can provide a timeless and elegant look, especially when paired with a structured top like a blouse. Dresses offer versatility and convenience, with options like sheath or fit-and-flare styles that maintain a polished appearance. Trousers provide a chic and confident alternative, especially when combined with a well-fitted blouse or shirt.
No matter which option you choose, make sure your outfit is modest, well-tailored, and appropriate for the job you're interviewing for. Complete your look with suitable shoes, minimal accessories, and a subtle makeup look that enhances your natural features.
Ultimately, what matters most during a job interview is your qualifications, skills, and experience. While your outfit plays a role in making a positive first impression, it should never overshadow your professional capabilities. Remember, dressing for a job interview is about finding the right balance between showcasing your personal style and adhering to the expectations of the industry and company. It's always better to err on the side of caution and choose a more conservative option if you're unsure.
So, whether you opt for a skirt, dress, or trousers, make sure it aligns with the company culture and industry norms. Pay attention to the fit, length, and modesty of your clothing. Pair it with appropriate shoes, accessories, and makeup. And above all, let your qualifications and skills shine through as you confidently navigate the interview process.
In conclusion, while skills, experience, and fit for the role are crucial, your attire plays a pivotal role in your interview's outcome. By understanding the company's culture, dress code, and the impression your attire makes, you can ensure you're not just dressed for the job you want, but for the career you're aiming to build.
By following these guidelines and incorporating your own personal style, you'll be well-prepared to make a lasting impression and increase your chances of landing your dream job. Good luck!