Don't make these interview fashion mistakes.
How do you stay true to yourself while dressing professionally for a job interview? Can you show your unique and creative style while still making a good impression?
When you walk into your interview, the first thing a recruiter or interviewer notices is your outfit and overall “look.” You've wowed them with your resume and credentials, so don't let their first glance of you be the nail in your job coffin. According to this 2017 report, 75 percent of recruiters say job candidates dress too casually. Don't follow the crowd; be part of the 25 percent dressed to impress!
We recommend wearing business professional attire. Blazers, suits, dresses, dress pants, and dress blouses/shirts are all acceptable job interview attire, but what outfits should you avoid? Keep reading to learn what types of clothing you definitely should not wear to an interview.
Don't dress casually
Casual dress means something different to everyone. Yoga pants, pajamas, wrinkled clothing, jeans, shorts, hoodies, and t-shirts are all too casual for a job interview.
Wearing these items can convey you are uninterested, don't care, or simply aren't professional, and by dressing too casually, you might quickly sway the decision about whether you will be hired in the wrong direction.
Don't wear tight or ripped clothing
Dressing for the club should not be your motivation when going to a job interview. Keep tight, revealing, and hole-filled clothing off your list of options. Anything that shows underclothing, cleavage, too much skin, or midriffs is unacceptable.
While ripped and tight clothing can make a positive impact and can be trendy, it would be detrimental in a job interview.
Related: What Should I Wear to a Job Interview: Women's Edition
Don't be flashy
You don't want to wear flashy or overly bright clothing to an interview; basic colors truly are the most reliable for showing professionalism. Black, brown, gray, and white are all acceptable colors for a job interview.
The exception to this, however, would be if you are interviewing at a creative company, are an artist, or the job requires clothing statements on a daily basis. For example, if you are interviewing at a fashion magazine, you want to make sure you are on trend and making the right fashion impression.
Don't plan your job interview attire before researching the company
When researching the company, you want to get a sense of the culture so you don't come dressed inappropriately for your interview. An example would be if you dressed nicely in a suit while the rest of the company is dressed casually and has a strict no-suit rule. This isn't usually the case, but you won't know until you research this information.
Feeling out of place during an interview can also cause you to be less confident and have the hiring manager question whether you would be a good fit. Researching beforehand can help you avoid these situations. If you can't find anything to indicate one way or another, call the recruiting office and ask if wearing business casual would be appropriate. The response will help you decide what to wear.
Related: What Should I Wear to a Job Interview: Men's Edition
Don't over-do it with accessories
Accessories shouldn't be distracting: no large jewelry, no facial piercings, and keep makeup simple.
For women, you don't want your makeup, perfume, or jewelry to be distracting during an interview. If you have an alarm for your watch or a smartwatch, make sure it's silenced before you go in. You want to be remembered for your personality and professionalism — not because you scrambled to silence something in the middle of answering questions.
In terms of scent, you should keep perfume/colognes to a minimum (or eliminate altogether). Interviews may be held in small rooms, which can quickly make a couple spritzes of your signature scent overpowering. You also never know if you'll be interviewing with someone who has allergies. When in doubt, opt for good hygiene but minimal scent in for an in-person interview.
Don't forget that shoes matter too
Flip flops are a definite no for any job interview. Sandals, in general, should be left at home, unless it is an open-toed high heel or dress sandal. Instead, wear sensible shoes that match your attire — nothing flashy or too out there. No heels that are too high, bright or old sneakers, or distracting shoes.
Don't wear new shoes to a job interview, either! Blisters are horrible and recruiters will notice if you are limping or uncomfortable.
Avoid wearing headwear
Keep earbuds or earphones, hats, beanies, and hoods away from an interview! None of these are acceptable and can be distracting and off-putting. You don't want the recruiter to think you are uninterested in what they are saying or not paying attention. Also, these can be distracting to you and cause you to fidget.
The only exception, of course, would be if you wear headwear for religious or cultural reasons.
Dress to impress — but within the company culture guidelines. 25 percent of recruiters say attire can positively impact their decision to hire a candidate. You want to make a good impression, fit in, and have recruiters remember you for the right reasons. Research the company, leave casual and flashy clothing and accessories at home, and let your shoes match the outfit. What you wear can leave a lasting impression, so make it a good one!Still unsure about your interview prep? Talk with one of the TopInterview's professional interview coaches today!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on our sister site, TopInterview.