Dress to Impress: How to Dress for Your Job or Scholarship Interview
By Gavin Mercier
Your outfit says a lot about yourself – oftentimes before you even get a chance to say anything. In high pressure situations such as job interviews, you want to be doing the talking, not your clothing. Think of your clothes as a picture frame and yourself as the picture: the frame is meant to show off the picture, not to take away from it.
Now, there isn’t a single “go-to” outfit that you can wear to every job interview. Every interview is different, as is every person. It is important to know what kind of attire your interviewer is expecting. This can vary based on what kind of job you are interviewing for, but typically you can expect business casual for non-professional jobs. This is different for men and women, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard.
Let’s start from the bottom. While shoes aren’t exactly a focal point, they’re an important part of your outfit. Dark, plain coloured shoes with same-coloured laces are ideal (I prefer black). Don’t worry about leather shoes for business casual. You shouldn’t have to worry about your socks, either – unless they’re clearly visible. Next, your pants. Simple, solid-coloured pants are fine, nothing to fancy. Dark or light isn’t crucial (although khaki is a safe bet), just as long as it matches the rest of your outfit. Finally, wear a long-sleeved collared shirt. Colour isn’t important, but don’t pick something too bright – and make sure it matches.
Again starting from the bottom, flats or low heels are fine in the shoe department. Dark or plain shoes are always a safe choice. Moving on to pants, there are plenty of options available. First, dark pants are good – especially when worn with a blazer. Skirts are also a respectable look – although it goes without saying to make sure the length is appropriate. A dress is another good option provided it isn’t too flashy or extravagant. For your top, a simple sweater works just fine. However, you could choose to throw a blazer or cardigan overtop of a nice shirt as an alternative. Patterned or plain doesn’t matter, as long as it looks nice and has a professional cut.
There are a couple things everyone should remember about dress code. For one, hats are a big no-no in almost every situation, unless they are relevant to the job you are applying for. Secondly, winter coats. While this isn’t as important or specific as any of the other items, if you have a bright or flashy snowboard jacket, consider wearing something of a plainer style. Again, this is only relevant if your jacket is REALLY out there. For most instances, you shouldn’t have worry.
Job interviews are stressful enough without having to worry about your outfit. All of your attention should be focused on your interview and making a positive first impression on your potential employer. Hopefully, with this article, you’ll be able to think less about your outfit and more about getting that job.
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