What to Wear to a Job Interview

March, 04, 2014 by Samantha Padilla-Torres author workhoppers

what to wear for job interviewWhether you are going for a job interview for a full time job, part-time position, a contract job, a project or a casual simple gig, what to wear to a job interview when meeting your potential employer or new client is important. As the old saying goes you do not get a second chance to make a first impression. So, today I wanted to do a little spin-off of the popular TLC show: “What not to wear”.  The thing is, after working as a Recruitment Consultant at one of the, so called, “Big 5″ consulting companies, I was quite shocked by what people decide to wear for a job interview. Don’t get me wrong, most people do an okay job just by using common sense, but there is always the person who decides to wear sunglasses for a job interview (real story, I kid you not). So, in this post I wanted to give you some tips not only to get by, but to positively stand out in a job interview, first impression-wise, even with a small student budget.

An interviewer’s role is to remain impartial until the job interview is finalized, however, first impressions do affect us all. Wearing the right attire goes a long way in sending the message that you are taking the job opportunity seriously. Thus, the golden rule for job interview outfits ends up being this: being overdressed is better than being under dressed, always. Now, I DO NOT mean that you should dust-off that special gown or tuxedo from your closet for your job interview, but that in case of doubt, always choose classic formal clothing over casual outfits. It is true that many workplaces are quite relaxed and people may even wear jeans in the office, but unless you are told otherwise by the employer, formal wear is the way to go during the whole interviewing process. Interestingly enough, during one of my HR classes last week, we were talking about “Power in the workplace” and proper attire was actually mentioned as a mean to express it; and who are we kidding, as students we need as many empowering and confidence tools as we can get during the slightly intimidating interview process.

So basically, here it goes:

The “what to wear to a job interview”:

1. Both women and men should wear conservative colors, such as navy, dark grey, brown, or black, for their outfits.

2. All your attire should look like you put the effort of keeping it neat and wrinkle-free. In terms of grooming, you know, take a shower, look clean, make your mom proud.

3. White is the safe and to-go color in terms of choosing a blouse or shirt.

4. Women should wear a two piece suit, and in the case of wearing a suit skirt it should never be shorter than above the knee. Shoes should be dark colored, closed, and should not have more than a 2-inch heel.

5. Men should wear a suit with a not too-flashy and classic tie. In terms of shoes, leather shoes or any type of business shoes are the way to go. Choose dark colored socks, preferably matching your suit color.

The “what not to wear to a job interview”:

1. Ladies, keep your makeup, nail color, jewelry, and hair style classy and simple, we are not trying to impress Lady Gaga over here.

2. Gentlemen, do not go for the lumberjack look for your interview, shave (seriously); and fine, if not, make sure to groom your facial hair.

3. Boys and girls, pretty sure your boss will know all about Mr. Hugo Boss or Mrs. Channel, no need to be a walking cologne/perfume advertisement.

4. Let’s just not bring backpacks or super elaborate and colorful purses into the job interview room.

5. And yeah, don’t be that sun glass-wearing guy…ever.

And that’s it, voila! The amazing thing for us students is that looking really good for a job interview does not have to cost a lot of money.

Attention students, freelancers, consultants….. If you are looking to set up some interviews for flexible work, visit www.workhoppers.com and create a great profile. Then, sit back and get matches with local companies that are looking to hire on a part time, casual, gig, project or contract basis. You won’t find any nine to five Monday to Friday permanent jobs here, just interesting legit flexible jobs! And now you know what to wear to a job interview.

Good luck!

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