It goes without saying that when it comes to job interviews, you want to put your best foot forward. While your experience and professional expertise are obviously important, looking the part definitely helps. The first judgement an interviewer makes, will inevitably rest on how you look and what you are wearing. That’s why it’s always important to dress appropriately for a job interview. Adzuna’s recruitment experts have put together a few tips and recommendations on how to dress for success and warn against some common fashion faux pas.
But before we jump into it, we’d like to stress that a winning interview outfit should ideally align with the company culture and dress code. So you should carefully choose your outfit depending on the specificity of the workplace. Whether you’re interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, a casual startup, or an informal summer job or internship, you should have a look at the company website or social media to get a sense of the place and show how you’re able to fit in.
Start-ups and companies in the creative industry are likely to have a much more relaxed dress code than big corporations. With this in mind, if you’re applying for a role at a place with a much more relaxed culture, turning up in your finest suit would make you look overdressed. By the same token, showing up to the head office of an international finance firm in jeans – yes, even dark jeans – is a bit risky.
When in doubt, opt for professional elegance. Ideally suited for interviews at corporate firms, black and white minimalism has been tried and tested, and works in nearly any type of interview. So how do you go about it in practice?
For men, the winning ensemble consists of a crisp white button-down shirt, dark chinos, brogues or boots, completed with a well-tailored blazer and trench coat. The simplicity of the outfit will make you look sophisticated and won’t distract from what you’re saying.
Women should also aim for simple elegance. A white blouse or a crisp white shirt should be tucked into a pencil skirt or cigarette pants. To complete the outfit, opt for a nice pair of brogues or loafers.
While you may be tempted to reach for your favourite pair of blue jeans, truth of the matter is, jeans are rarely a good idea should be approached with caution. There are countless alternatives to choose from, that will save you the fret and won’t distract you from more important things you’re likely to be thinking about when walking into an interview. A good option for men is to go with a well-tailored sports jacket with a white polo shirt, chinos, and tanned leather brogues.
As for women, a more relaxed dress code means a color palette that goes beyond the traditional black and white. But while this allows women to accentuate their personality through style, the old rule ‘less is more’ rings ever so true. Play it safe by choosing subtle colors and good quality materials, you want your interviewer to remember you for what you said rather than for what you were wearing.
Follow the principles of minimalism and simplicity. For more formal settings, accessories such as cuff links, earrings and even socks should be subtle and follow a fairly neutral colour scheme. You want your accessories to enhance your interview attire – not overwhelm it.
Adzuna is a search engine for job ads used by over 11 million visitors per month that aims to list every job, everywhere. We search thousands of websites so our users don’t have to, bringing together millions of ads in one place. By providing smarter search options and powerful data about the job market, we give jobseekers the information they need to take control of their careers.
Adzuna was founded in 2011 by Andrew Hunter and Doug Monro, formerly of eBay, Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla, and is backed by leading Venture Capital firms Passion Capital, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures.
Adzuna’s mission is to be the best place to start looking for a job. We love using the awesome power of technology to help match people to better, more fulfilling jobs and keep America working.