Dress to Impress for an Interview

“A good first impression can work wonders” – J.K. Rowling.

Landing a job is one of those wonders. Having interviewed over a thousand candidates in the past 6+ years, I’ve seen a lot of “Dos” and “Don’ts” when it comes to dressing for an interview. Below are my strategic attire tips:

Keep it Neat & Polished
Business professional dress is most appropriate in an interview setting, and I do recommend wearing a suit jacket of some sort. Whether pairing with slacks and a shirt, a skirt and blouse, or a dress, it is CRUCIAL that all pieces of the outfit are clean, wrinkle-free, and tailored as much as possible. Ill-fitting pieces can come across as untidy and not put together. I often recommend getting the complete outfit dry cleaned prior to, or at least doing an at home steaming. This also goes for shoes. If interviewing during winter time, be sure to clean off any snow residue so that the shoes shine and look as neat as the full ensemble.

Be sure to select an outfit that you can walk, sit and stand comfortably in. Avoid clothing that you feel the need to adjust (for example: pulling up pants, loose shirt straps, etc.). This tip also applies to shoes. Ladies, be sure to choose footwear that you can walk in, without tripping or looking silly (we’ve all been there)! I support open-toed shoes, but only if toenails are polished.

While basic colors (black, navy, white) are the most common go-to’s, I actually encourage incorporating some pop of color or fun accessory (belt, necklace, pocket square, socks, etc.) to stand out from the applicant crowd. Not only does it help you stand out, it’s a way of showcasing your personality. To still maintain a clean look, I recommend sticking to just 1 piece and keeping the rest more basic. Also, try to avoid prints that may be too loud or distracting.

Although cheesy, a smile is one of the most vital things you can wear throughout an interview. It can be easy to forget, especially amongst the nerves, the overthinking, etc. Always remember to smile and be confident! You got this.

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