How To Dress For A Job Interview

How To Dress For A Job Interview

If you’re jumping back into the job market, you should know that research shows many potential employers make up their minds about whether to hire you within the first 10 seconds of a job interview.

Consider what type of job you are interviewing for when you choose your style of clothing. Here are some examples of different jobs that require different clothing choices.

Ad Agency Creative Department

This is one case where you do not want a suit. Folks in the creative departments of ad agencies don’t walk around all day in a shirt and tie. You’ll look a bit off if you show up dressed in your best formal wear for this kind of interview.

Instead, go casual with a nice pair of pants and a jumper or snazzy shirt. Wear something you would feel comfortable working in while you brainstorm. Show off your creative spirit with comfortable clothes and bright colors that convey an open mind ready to join the team.

One warning, though. Don’t go in looking like a flake. Keep the earrings at home and have a simple, neat haircut. They are hiring you to be a creator, not a rebel. Don’t go in looking like a punk — go in looking like a bright guy on the rise with a big future ahead of him.

Fortune 500 Middle Management

Now, you can wear a suit. Going into a middle management interview, you want to convey a sense of experience and authority. A big no-no is walking into an interview with a suit that is old, worn, doesn’t fit well, or just doesn’t suit you. If you can’t manage to dress yourself properly, you probably can’t manage more complicated matters. How To Dress For A Job Interview

You want a nicely tailored suit that avoids too much color and too much flash. The persona you want to create is one of a steely, in-charge manager; to do that, you need to look the part by being dressed neatly but not showily. With a smart suit and an understated style, you’ll look ready to fit in at once, and you’ll relieve your interviewer of many doubts by simply appearing confident and competent.

Small Business Office

For a small business setting, you want to go conservative and look like a budget-conscious professional. Wear a solid color suit and a long-sleeve shirt with a nice tie. You should have a neat, professional hairstyle — nothing off the wall or zany.

Wear little or no jewelry and concentrate on neat and simple. You want to look efficient, so dress, feel and act efficient. Go to your small business interview in a simple but confident style. You can always relax your dress code after you get hired.

Professional Services Firm (Accounting, Law, etc.)

This is where you want to minimize the creative spirit and do your best to look like a corporate or legal entity who knows exactly where he is going and radiates the confidence to prove it. When interviewing at an accounting or law firm, you need to max out with a power suit, navy blue or black, and a basic tie with absolutely no embellishments. Wear an earring to this kind of interview and you might as well walk in eating pizza and drinking beer.

The visual image you want to convey is one of confidence and aggressive composure. You need a nicely tailored suit with fine trimmings (polished shoe leather, a new belt, a strong — but not gaudy — tie). Coming across as anything less than competent dooms you from the start.

Sales Force

Now we’re back to casual, but we’re still staying smart. You don’t need a power tie for sales, but you do need a nice pair of pants. If you go one step above jeans, you can’t go wrong. You will also want a decent collared shirt with a belt that matches your sensible shoes.

Do not go with the power suit here, as it sends the wrong message — over-aggressive sales guy in desperation mode. You want a comfortable, casual look that shows them you can sell yourself, which will make them believe you can sell for them.