Job interviews can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. From the answers to your interview questions to the clothes that you wear, an interview is all about presenting yourself in the best possible light in order to highlight how you would be a great fit for the open job. Here are 5 tips on what to wear to a job interview so that you feel confident during the process, leaving your potential employer impressed.

Plan ahead

Don’t wait until the morning of your interview to skim your closet to realize that the shirt and pants you want to wear are dirty. Picking out your outfit the day before (or even earlier) will eliminate part of the morning’s stress and let you get in the right frame of mind. Go one step further and try on your entire interview outfit before the big day. This way you can be assured that everything fits, nothing is ripped, and that it’s ready to go when you need it. Oh, and go ahead and have a seat in your outfit to make sure that it isn’t too tight or too short for seated positions. 

Dress for the job you want

It doesn’t matter what your current job is like; dress the part for your potential position in the future! The interview culture doesn’t demand a suit and tie for every job interview, anymore. Consider the position and the company, and dress for their culture. If it’s a casual, laid-back, creative environment, a suit and tie might come off as ill-fitting. If you are applying at a bank, law firm, or accounting company, a suit might be expected. Do your research and figure out what the standard dress code would be, and remember, it’s better to be a little overdressed, than come off too casual. 

Pay attention to details

We aren’t talking about your résumé and cover letter- that should be polished already! Leave time for more than a 1-second look in the mirror. Ensure that your clothes look pressed, your hair is polished, and that you look put together from head to toe. Looks aren’t everything, but employers only get one first impression, and they will assume that the care and time you take with your appearance is telling of how you will show up at the workplace and represent their company. Don’t forget about your bag and shoes; it’s all part of your interview look!

Keep it simple

If you’re considering what color to wear to an interview or if patterns are appropriate, always lean on the side of simplicity. Don’t go overboard with accessories, makeup, jewelry, perfume, or cologne. Interviewers are more interested in you and your qualifications, rather than any extras from your apparel. These extras might even become distracting so that they remember your bracelets that were constantly jingling instead of your killer answer about company culture. Strive to be remembered for your interview answers or your skillset, instead of your strong perfume or oversized necklace. 

Be comfortable

The last thing that you want to wear to an interview is a dress that you can’t breathe in or pants that are too big. Wear something that makes you feel confident in a 1-on-1 interview or a panel review. Choose something that you’ll feel comfortable in and not a shirt that you’ll be tugging at or pants that you have to readjust. Don’t wear a bracelet that makes loud noises every time you write or shoes that are hard to walk in. Your outfit should let you move easily and not cause any distractions throughout your interview. 

Dress for success when you show up to the interview for your dream job. If you have compelling answers to interview questions and a high skillset to back it up, ensure that your presentation doesn’t hold you back from landing that next role. If you’re unsure about what to wear, ask a mentor or friend in the industry for advice so that you can feel better prepared when picking out your outfit. Dressing the part will only show that you are just as good in person as you look on paper.

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