Dressing up for a job interview is all about matching a company’s culture.
As much as people hate to believe that first impressions are everything, when it comes to a job interview, that’s almost always true. After all, an employer only has an hour or two with you to make a decision of whether or not you are the perfect fit for their company and culture — and the way you appear throughout that time is a big part of that perception.
Therefore, it’s important to look the right part when heading in for a job interview, and to dress for the job you want… not the one you currently have.
So, here are some quick tips for determining how best to dress for your upcoming job interview, based on the type of role you’re interviewing for:
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A corporate role
If you’re interviewing for a conservative, corporate position (think a financial institution or a law firm), it’s best to stick to business professional when it comes to your outfit. Don’t wear flashy colors or jewelry — instead stick to the basics. For women, this means a classic skirt or pant suit in a neutral color, like a two piece grey suit from Italist. For accessories, go with a nice watch, or a simple pair of diamond stud earrings. For men, a suit with a tie is a must, either in a basic charcoal grey or navy blue color. (It’s an unwritten rule in the interview world that you should avoid wearing a black suit to a job interview, if you can.) Calvin Klein makes a number of sharp fitting suits in solid neural colors, or subtle plaids.
A creative role
If you’re heading to an interview in the design, marketing, or fashion world, you can typically be a little more fashionable in your attire — but we still recommend remaining on the edge of business casual. (No jeans is still a hard and fast interview rule, though.) Women can go for a cute Madewell-inspired look, such as a nice sweater tucked into a pleated skirt. If you want to include a statement piece of jewelry, make that your one and only statement. (For example, pick either bold, blue glasses frames or a chunky necklace. Not both.) As for men, stick with slacks and dress shoes, but opt for a nicely tailored button down shirt sans tie in a classic pattern, like a gingham print from Bonobos, to finish off the look.
A casual role
While a “casual dress” office may feel like a huge win for your day-to-day wardrobe, it can be one of the most difficult to decifier when it comes time for the actual interview. After all, how casual is casual? We say that it’s still important to look polished, even when you are interviewing for a casual environment. You should aim to be slightly more dressed up than the people who actually work in the office. So, for women, a collared shirt and trousers combo from a modern brand like Club Monaco is sure to be a win. Pair your outfit with a nice work tote in a classic faux-leather finish to hold multiple copies of your resume. Men should wear a long-sleeved button up with khakis or chinos in a muted color, such as the On-The-Go Pants from Vineyard Vines.
Still not sure of how dressed up you should be for your interview? Do some research. All people have individual style preferences and styles which suit them better than others. Our recommendations are just one possible approach. You can also send a quick email to your contact to ask about the dress code, or check out the company’s social media profiles to see how employees dress for their day-to-day roles.
Also, don’t forget to shop for your interview outfit through Jewel, so you can earn cash back from the luxury brands we mentioned above, plus so many more. No matter what kind of role you’re hoping to fill, Jewel can help you dress to impress.