The struggle is real! We get asked so many questions about what to wear for a job interview, and we’re here to help. So, we’ve listed the most common questions, and given you all of our top tips.
How do I know what to wear to an interview?
It is always good to do some research around what the office culture is when it comes to dress code. When the interviewer invites you for an interview, they usually give you a hint about how to dress. For example, if they ask you to come in for a “chat over coffee”, you can probably assume that you don’t need to wear a suit. However, if they ask you to come in for “a formal interview with the head of the department” then you should dress formally (which doesn’t always mean a suit, see the next question!).
If the interviewer has offered no hint about what to wear, then there is nothing wrong with simply asking them if there is a particular dress code. If anything, they’ll be impressed that you care enough to make sure you’re dressed appropriately, and that you think ahead. But in case you can’t bear to do this, there are some sneaky ways to tell what the office dress code is. Usually on a company website there is an ‘about us’ section, which sometimes has photos of staff members, so it’s always worth checking out this page to see what the staff are wearing. In addition, you can check the company on LinkedIn, to see how the current staff members are dressed.
Do I always have to wear a suit?
No, formal does not always have to mean a suit, and it’s always better to be practical than flashy. If you have never worn a suit in your life, DO NOT wear one for the first time at a job interview. You’ll be uncomfortable, and won’t be able to act naturally, which is never a good look. Instead, opt for some smart trousers (like chinos), and add a smart shirt and blazer, and you’re ready to go!
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Above all, they should be plain, sensible, and comfortable! Stick to black, brown, grey, or navy shoes with a low heel. They don’t have to be brand new, but they should look smart. Avoid trainers, shoes with obvious scuffs or rips, open toe shoes, and anything that’s too loud or colourful. Make sure you have broken them in before the interview to avoid unwanted blisters and unnecessary stress on the day.
Do I have to wear makeup?
You absolutely do not have to wear makeup, and as a general rule, try and keep it very minimal. Wear simple makeup, and aim to look as if you’re healthy, well rested, and glowing. If you must wear foundation make sure it’s a light layer of a shade which matches your skin really well, there is nothing worse than foundation lines in an interview. Apart from that, use some subtle concealer, a nice healthy pink blush, and a light layer of brown mascara. If you always wear something like eye shadow or eye liner then go for it, just make sure it’s not too heavy.
Do I have to go out and buy a new outfit?
Absolutely not! In fact, we recommend wearing something you feel confident and comfortable in over a brand new outfit. With something new, you don’t know if the clothes crease, if they itch, or if you’ll be way too hot. So, stick to the tried and tested in your wardrobe.
Should I wear accessories?
In a word, no. If you do feel the need to wear any accessories, make sure that they are simple, understated, and appropriate for a work situation. Any facial piercings should be removed or replaced by clear plastic studs so they are somewhat hidden. Earrings should be kept to one stud per ear in a plain silver or gold, nothing shiny or dangly, as this will just distract from what you’re saying. Avoid lots of bracelets which make noise, or any large jewellery pieces, as ultimately you want your look to be clean, and simple.
How should I wear my hair?
Definitely clean! Make sure you wash your hair either the night before, or the morning of. Shampoo twice for squeaky clean hair, condition, and then rinse with cold water to lock in shine. Avoid frizzy locks by using a small amount of serum, and take the time to blow dry your hair. BUT, if you’ve never blow dried your hair before then don’t do it, all it will do is add unnecessary stress. You want to look like you, but on a really good day, so take the extra time to get ready. Don’t try a fancy new style, just wear your hair clean, and keep the amount of product minimal.
What are your golden rules for interview outfits?
- Keep it simple
- If you wear a skirt, it should be no shorter than four fingers above the knee
- Wear muted colours and avoid brights
- Don’t wear something you’ve never worn before
- Give yourself more time than usual to get ready
- Look like yourself and wear what you’ll be comfortable in
- A good blazer speaks volumes
Last of all….GOOD LUCK!
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