Interviews: Attire

Interviews: Attire


What to Wear to a Job Interview “Professional attire” and “interview attire” usually means wearing a suit. But different industries have different standards of what professional attire looks like. So do your research and at minimum dress 1 to 2 steps above what everyday attire on the job would look like. Avoid fads and stick to more classic tailoring. Your clothes should be clean, your shoes should be polished, and your slacks and your jacket and your shirt or blouse should be pressed. A portfolio or a bag are preferable to backpacks, as backpacks are just going to wrinkle your suit or jacket. The following images give you tips and strategies for how to put a suit outfit together. Classic tailoring, darker colors for the suit, lighter colors for the shirt or blouse and mix and match accessories accordingly. When you look at most materials that depict what to wear to an interview It’s pretty obvious that interview attire is traditionally “gendered” – meaning this is what women wear and this is what men wear. But depending on how comfortable you feel in different types of clothing, your own gender identity and expression, it’s important to be your authentic self and wear what is professional and expected of your industry but also lets you be true to yourself and your style. Employers know that as college students you have budget limitations, and if you have multiple rounds of interviews they’re really not expecting you to show up in a different suit every time. Your budget limitations may lead to some creativity; you could have one suit and have a number shirts, blouses, and ties to help give you a different look every time. If you have visible tattoos or excessive jewelry, you might want to try strategies to minimize how visible those are. But again, depending upon the industry that you’re interviewing in some of these things won’t be that difficult or problematic to the employer. If you have long hair you might consider wearing it back so it doesn’t get in your face during the interview; if you have facial hair, be sure it’s neatly trimmed and groomed going into the interview as well. So what shouldn’t you wear? Some of this may be pretty obvious, but if you’re wearing dark pants don’t wear white socks. You want to match your socks to your shoes or to your pants. Avoid perfume and cologne. Definitely don’t wear overly casual clothing or accessories. You’re trying to present a professional image and be taken as seriously as possible for your employment interview and as such you should really refer to a lot of the images and pictures that are available online to give you a good sense of what professional attire options really look like. To learn more about interviewing, visit the Career Development Center’s web site and across the top main menu click on interviewing for access to resources and materials that will help you practice and prepare for successful interviews.

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