Find out what to wear during a job interview and make a great first impression.
Figuring out a great outfit can be challenging any day. When facing a job interview it’s for sure a hassle you could do without. So that’s why we’ve got you covered and made you a guide you can follow to choose the perfect outfit to make a great first impression.
The way that you are dressed shows your basic competences and attention for detail. There are companies out there that will discard sloppy dressers automatically as an easy way to narrow down their applicant pool.
The rule of thumb for interview clothing is this: dress one level of formality higher than you would for a day on the job.
But don’t be scared! We are here to help you be prepared with these following tips.
The possibilities in clothing for men during a job interview are a bit more limited than women. Most men would go for a suit but it’s not always necessary. It really depends on the job and the corporate identity. But leave your shorts and flip-flops at home.
- Business but professional: in this kind of situation, a suit is the norm. This could be described as chinos, a button down shirt, a belt and dress shoes.
- Business but casual: an entire suit isn’t needed in this situation. Rather go for chinos, a button down shirt or polo, a belt and dress shoes.
- Casual: in a casual situation, it’s still necessary to look professional. You can go for a long-sleeved dress shirt, good looking pants or jeans and dress shoes.
- Hair and facial hair: go for combed and nicely styled hair. Don’t forget to shave or trim your beard before the interview.
When it comes to clothing for job interviews when you’re a woman, you have a bit more choice. This does mean that it might be a bit more difficult to find the perfect outfit for the situation. Don’t go for a deep cleavage or a short skirt. Keep everything very professional.
- Business but professional: for trousers, you can choose between a skirt, pants suit or a nice pair of trousers. You can pair it with a button down shirt or nice blouse. For shoes, heels or dress shoes will do.
- Business but casual: you can go a bit less stiff with the outfit. A conservative dress, blouse or sweater, a skirt or dress pants and dress shoes, boots or heels can be your choice.
- Casual: again, you need to look professional. Go for a shirt, blouse or dress shirt, a work dress, pants or pencil skirt. And for shoes, it’s possible to go for a nice sneaker or heel.
- Hair and make-up: your hair should be combed and styles. Keep it out of your face and don’t fiddle with it. This can be distracting for the interviewer. For make-up, go for natural tones.
Again, every company is different. It really depends on which company you want to go for. But there are some general rules to keep in mind for any type of business or position:
- Check the company: this sounds logical but do your research before the interview. Take a look at the culture, their social media and even the way that they talk on these types of media.
- Choose for a neutral color: the color that you go for needs to fit your skin and needs to make you look at your best. In a survey it was shown that blue topped the list of colors that are approved in an interview. This was followed by black, brown and gray. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear these colors. Go for something that really flatters you.
- Pay attention to details: don’t show up in wrinkled, stained, ripped or ill-fitted clothing. Again, dress a step above the typical daily way of dressing for the company.
- Perfume: don’t go overboard with your perfume. This can be very distracting for the interviewer. You want to be remembered for your skills, not your smell.
- Select your clothes the day before: take the time beforehand to select your outfit.
Go for clothing that makes you feel great and that gives you a boost in your confidence. When you’re happy with yourself, the interviewer will be happy with you.
In need of some inspiration? Take a look at our Pinterest page where we’ve found some outfit ideas for you.
TIP: do you really want to stand out during your interview? Than take a look at our blogpost about 5 Dutch sentences that you can use during your Belgian job interview.