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Quick Guide on the Do's and Don'ts of Interview Outfits

Deciding what to wear for a job interview

Dressing appropriately for an interview ranks high in stressful dressing situations.  It always comes down to balancing looking professional and showing your personality. Curating a look that aligns with this is not easy, and there's one central question worth considering before you begin. Are you interviewing at a corporate company or a startup? If it's the former, you may want to play it safe and show up in formal business attire (think: blazers, suits, trousers, pencil skirts, etc.). 

We recommend dressing one step above what you would typically wear daily in your job. So if you wear business casual, we recommend you wear a suit to the interview. If you wear jeans daily to your job, then dress pants, and a nice blouse would be appropriate for the discussion. However, we always say it's better to overdress than underdress for an interview. You tend to feel your best when you look your best!

Millennial-led startup companies tend to take more liberties with their dress codes and welcome more open threads.

Here are some tips for dressing for an interview:

FOR WOMEN:

  • Avoid excessive make-up and jewelry. Less is usually best. Make sure that your hairstyle and color are also conservative and modern.
  • Do not use perfume or strong body washes/sprays.
  • Do not wear clothing that is too tight, shows cleavage, or is too short. Also, avoid lace, sheer, and animal prints. If you choose to wear a skirt to your interview, it should hit right above the knee, and you should wear pantyhose.
  • Do not wear open-toed shoes or stilettos. It would help if you were comfortable walking around in the shoes you choose, and they should look polished.
  • The colors you select should not be overly loud or trendy. Suits should be black, gray, or navy. Adding some color to your blue is okay, but it should not distract from your overall appearance.
  • Your fingernails should be well shaped; do not use nail polish (clear is acceptable).
  • Carry either a professional, conservative purse or attache case.

Let's put it into practice.

TIPS FOR MEN AND WOMEN:
  • Don't forget to SMILE!
  • Display good hygiene- be freshly showered and brush your teeth before the interview if possible.
  • Do not chew gum or candy and do not smell like tobacco.
  • Make sure your clothing is free of wrinkles, tears, and stains.
  • Be aware of how tattoos and piercings will be accepted in your industry. It's typically advised to cover up all tattoos and remove piercings that are not in the ears.
  • Try on your outfit several days before the interview if you need to buy new clothing or borrow clothing from a friend or family member.
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