You have the perfect resume, rehearsed answers to the possible questions, and have done the research on your potential new company, so what’s left? Your outfit. What are you going to wear? This is your big opportunity. Your outfit is the chance to make a great first impression on your potential employer and future company. But what is the perfect outfit?
The first point of advice is to research the company climate and office dress code. Doing your research will to determine how formal or informal the company is. It is also a smart idea to consider the position and industry. Make sure your attire matches the setting. If you are interviewing for a corporate position, wearing a tailored suit or dress would be appropriate. On the other hand, if it is a less formal position/company dressing business casual is a safe option.
What does it actually mean to dress business casual? We have all heard this term used but have you ever really heard the definition? Probably not. We have yet to find a strict definition, in general we say “business casual” to imply dressing professionally without being overly formal. Dressing business casual is a nice step above from t-shirts and jeans.
Business Casual for Women
There are many options for a woman to select from: you can wear a professional top or a simple dress and pair it with a comfortable closed toe shoe or boot. You have the option of slacks or a skirt as well. You just want to make sure if you go with a skirt that it is at an appropriate length (knee length or longer). You can finish your outfit with a few modest accessories such as simple hoop or stud earrings, or maybe a subtle necklace. You want to avoid chunky or distracting accessories. If you wear nail polish, make sure it is unchipped and in a soft color.
Business Casual for Men
Men can typically wear pretty comfortable clothes, such as a nice collared shirt or a nice polo shirt if you are meeting with a more laidback company. You should pair your shirt with a tailored pair of dress pants or chinos. Always make sure you have your pants ironed and paired with a nice pair of dark shoes (always make sure your socks match). As for accessories, a classic watch with either a metal or leather band. Make sure you should remove any off-putting jewelry (gaudy earrings, necklaces or bracelets).
General Tips for Dressing Business Casual
Regardless of what you decide to wear always make sure your clothes are free of wrinkles, holes, animal hair, or stains. You probably spend hours preparing your resume and answers for your interview so make sure you do a dry run with your outfit as well. Also avoid strong perfume or cologne; you want to make sure you smell clean, but you don’t want smells that could be irritating to others. Lastly, if you find yourself questioning if you should or shouldn’t wear something, go with your gut and don’t do it. Save that for a non-interview day.