Dressing for the Part

John Krautzel
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What to wear for a job interview depends on several factors. With so many variations in company cultures, you may find several different opinions as to what's the most appropriate attire for an interview. Discover these essential tips for looking your best during your face time with your future boss.

Any Workplace

For any workplace, you can always ask what to wear for a job interview. Your human resources contact person can point you in the right direction, from business casual to conservative and formal. Styles may run the gamut from jackets and ties or grey pantsuits all the way to jeans and a polo shirt. It never hurts to ask HR what you should wear. Look at the company's social media pages to find photos of employees and determine what they wear on a daily basis, and use that as your base for picking out clothes.

Dress up and not down to stand out but also to show how serious you are about landing the job. Your personal brand is about professionalism and getting things done rather than fitting in with your future co-workers. Blend in with your team after you formally become part of that team.

Take into account your own personal style with a job interview. Find clothes that fit while making you comfortable. They do not have to be perfectly tailored, but you should look sharp. Keep in mind grooming and overall cleanliness ahead of an interview. Men should be clean-shaven with the right amount of cologne, and women should not have on heavy makeup or too much perfume.

Casual Workplace

A company without a formal dress code gives you plenty of options for a job interview. Look beyond the standard polo shirt and khakis to find what works best for you while standing out from other candidates. Your look should exemplify your personal brand.

For women, this means adding the right number of accessories to your outfit. Think of a stylish bracelet or two alongside a leather jacket instead of a traditional blazer. Your attire should make a statement with you coming across as a competent and professional person.

Men in a casual environment might try dark or khaki slacks and an appropriate belt. The top might include a blazer or sweater with a collared shirt. A necktie might be optional, but a tie offers men a chance to stand out.

Conservative Office

A conservative office, particularly in finance, law and insurance, means suits and ties for men and appropriate skirts and pantsuits for women. However, conservative does not have to point toward drab and dreary black or gray colors. Women can wear bright-colored blouses underneath a blazer to make an impression. A statement necklace captures attention without dominating an outfit at a job interview.

Men in a conservative office should wear a crisp, pressed suit along with a matching belt and shined shoes. A white or blue collared shirt and a necktie complete the look.

Dressing for the part at a job interview gives hiring managers an instant first impression. That's why your attire should help you come across as someone who can get the job done while fulfilling your role with an employer.

Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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