How Casual Should You Dress for a Job Interview?

When preparing for a job interview, appearance can make or break the chance of landing that job. An estimated 55 percent of individuals base their opinion of a person on first impressions. Wearing the right clothes to an interview plays an important role in the interviewing process. The job applicant is essentially selling themselves to their future employer. Marketing is the key to presenting the best image, because the employer is essentially buying what that individual has to offer. While there are known standards of what should be worn to a job interview, dress code can vary depending on particular industry and job position. Candidates should research the company’s dress code that they will be interviewing for in order to better prepare what they will wear. Research the corporate culture of your prospective employer or ask the job recruiter for suggestions on the best attire choices. This is advisable when interviewing for a company that holds formal or casual dress codes, and it will help you avoid wrong dress code dilemmas. While you should always make sure to be dressed in a professional manner for your interview, that does not necessarily mean that you must only wear a suit and tie.

Below are a few basic suggestions on what to wear to an interview. The dress code for men and women is naturally different, but whether the applicant is a man or a woman, their attire should convey a professional and confident demeanor.

Tips for Men Preparing for an Interview:

It has been standard for men to choose a suit in a dark shade, along with a solid color shirt and tie for their interview. Depending on the position that you are interviewing for, along with the particular industry could allow you to be a bit more flexible with your clothing choices for your job interview. The modern day man could now look just as professional walking into a job interview by wearing attire that portrays their individual style. Instead of a suit, men can opt for a more casual style such as a cardigan or blazer with dress pants and shoes. Most recruiters will be impressed to see your personal style shine through, while remaining to look professional. Aim to look current as well as age appropriate. Instead of a traditional tie, try a skinny tie for a change. Modern fit pants such as chinos or slim fit dress pants are a good substitute for slacks. Rather than wearing black leather square toe dress shoes, give a pair of loafers or oxfords a shot.

Personal Grooming Tips:

· Hair should be neat and nicely groomed.

· Have freshly laundered and pressed clothes as well as shoes polished.

· Check fingernails and brush teeth. Employers notice basic hygiene and grooming.

· Bring a nice briefcase or portfolio containing an additional resume and references.

Tips for Women Preparing for an Interview:

While women have always had many more clothing options than men, they too can be more flexible with their interview attire, as long as it is appropriate for the industry. Colors should be subtle and not bright and distracting. A traditional skirt-suit could now be replaced with a tailored blazer or cardigan sweater, paired with a collared shirt, and a skirt that sits below the knee. Mixing fabrics accordingly can spruce up your look, and even make you look younger. There is a plethora of fashion accessories that are readily available for women today, pair your outfit with a thin leather belt, subtle earrings, and even a necklace that is not distracting. The type of shoe that women can wear on a job interview is quickly changing as well, opt for new styles such as black pump heels, flats, or women loafers.

Personal Grooming Tips:

· Perfume should be subtle or not worn at all.

· Go for a more natural makeup look.

· Keep hair neatly styled and business-like.

· Nicely trimmed, immaculate nails are important.

· Bring a briefcase or attractive portfolio, with an extra resume and references.

A person, who presents a professional look for an interview has an edge over the applicants, who do not. While casual attire may be appropriate for some, you should not make sure to look your best for your job interview. Preparation is important, so make sure to have your outfit pressed and ready the day before. A confident appearance along with a good resume will send the right message, to a future employer.