What to Wear To An Interview: 3 Basic Tips for Creating a Professional Outfit
An interview can be a stress inducing event. Not only do you have to remember to act polite and professional and answer interview questions concisely and with ease, but you have to look the part as well - pulling off that perfect balance of professionalism and style.
Coordinating the perfect outfit can be a bit of a hassle, but there are some basic do's and dont's that will help make picking out suitable attire a much smoother process. And if ever in doubt about a certain wardrobe piece, drop it. It's better to lean towards conservative and slightly boring, than to strive for high fashion.
1. When in Doubt, Go Dark
Dark colors are always acceptable - they look professional and don't come off as too flashy. Wearing a bright red top with a matching skirt is never a good idea, even if you know the company is laid back and has a casual dress code. You're not currently an employee and first impressions always count, so keep it simple, subdued and conservative.
2. Overdress Before You Underdress
No one wants to show up to an interview with three other people looking like a slacker. It is always better to be overdressed for an occasion, be it a wedding or a job interview, rather than underdressed. This also encompasses nixing casual clothing like t-shirts, jeans and sneakers for dress pants, slacks, tailored shirts and dress shoes.
3. Keep the Accessories to a Minimum
You can flaunt your own personal style after you snag the job, but before then it's best to keep your look "clean" with minimal jewelry and accessories. Yeah, that silk lavender polka dot head scarf looks amazing with your navy blue pencil skirt, but a job interview isn't the place to prove your catwalk-worthy fashion skills. A simple gold or silver chain will suffice for women, and men can dress it up with a simple pocket scarf or nice tie.
Lauren Fairbanks is a Brooklyn-based writer hailing originally from that far away land known as the deep South. She has covered lifestyle, small business, personal finance and career topics for various publications including Young Money, Learn Vest, She Knows, Wise Bread, and Eating Well Magazine. She's also the Founder and Editor of LifeStyler - a comprehensive guide to living in New York City on a Budget.