Friday, July 12, 2024

Business Casual Outfits For Interviews

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Job Interview Outfits For Men

What to Wear to an Interview: Professional, Business Casual and Smart Casual (Ft. Ingrid Nilsen)

Being a man, dressing up professionally for an interview is no less than an uphill climb, as there are not many professional clothing options available. So, If you are looking for some outfit ideas to wear to your job interview, try styling with these professional looks to land your dream job by creating an enduring first impression.

Match Up Without Suiting Up

If you want to look put together for your business casual interview without the stuffiness that comes with wearing a suit, try color matching your outfit. Try going bold and clean with bright, solid color separates. Having the same color on the top and bottom is a fresh take on an interview-appropriate outfit. Make sure your shoes and bag match, but dont match the same color as your clothing. You dont want to go too matchy-matchy and risk a color overload.

Dress For The Interview Location

Interviewing on Zoom or at a companyâs headquarters may determine the garments you choose. For interviewing on Zoom, choose colors that contrast with your background, so that you stand out, but opt for colors that donât clash too much. For interviewing onsite, keep your physical comfort in mind. For example, air-conditioned office spaces can feel frigid after a short period of time of being there, while fitness facilities may feel balmy. For an outdoor location, you may need a durable pair of shoes or a weather-proof coat.

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What To Wear On A Zoom Interview

Work dress codes often focus on the concept of being professional. But what does that mean in practice and how can it help you find the proper Zoom interview attire?

To some, professional conjures up traditional images of men in suits working on Wall Street. Indeed, in certain industries, this conservative idea of professionalism still holds. However, as more workplaces move toward more inclusivity, diversity, and casual dress codes 1 in 2 workplaces now consider their dress codes casual there are still ways to be professional without wearing a suit or detracting from your identity and personality.

It can help to imagine yourself as a brand, Dustin Ray, hiring expert, co-CEO, and chief growth officer of Incfile, says. Ask yourself, what message do you want to convey? What are your values, strengths, and attributes? These can be communicated by what you wear.

Studies show that the clothes you wear can directly impact how others perceive your level of professionalism. They can also affect how you see yourself.

At the core, professional Zoom attire means you look put together, clean, and presentable. You shouldnt have stains on your clothing, or have your hair look like you just rolled out of bed. It should be obvious that youve put some effort into your presentation.

The best Zoom interview attire is clothing that matches the level of professionalism at the company and feels comfortable to you.

What Not To Wear In A Zoom Interview

Job Interview Interview Attire

Anything widely accepted as unprofessional, including profane graphics and words and overly revealing tops, is typically off-limits regarding Zoom attire. Yet once you know what dress code to go with, there arent necessarily specific items that are off-limits.

Some experts recommend sticking to neutral colors in an interview, often for fear that bright colors or patterns will distract from your face in the video. However, if your outfit doesnt affect your camera view, theres no need to dull your outfit or accessories. Dont be afraid to show off your favorite color or wear an accessory you love as long as youve checked how it looks on Zoom first.

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Should I Wear A Tie To An Interview

This depends on the job you’re applying for. Obviously, if you’re applying for a profession requiring a tie as a dress code, you should wear one. However, suppose you are interviewing for a position where employees currently do not wear a tie. In that case, you should defer from wearing one to the interview. One way to determine whether to wear a tie is to ask peers who have interviewed for similar positions in the past.

How To Dress Business Casual

Adding to the ambiguity of the term business casual is the fact that different companies, industries and career levels often have their own definitions as to what constitutes business casual. For example, a tech company may allow its employees to wear outfits that lean more toward casual than business casual, while a financial firm will likely expect its employees to dress on the other side of the business-casual spectrum. In the table below, we offer a quick comparison of what typically works for a , a business casual or casual dress code:

Business professional
  • Minimum jewelry

Related: Dress Codes for All Business Occasions

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What To Wear To An Interview For Teenage Men

Never let your age determine what to wear to an interview. This is especially true for male teenage candidates. As a teen it’s likely that you already have a negative perception about being responsible, professional, and having a solid work ethic. Combat all those objectives by wearing the same business casual attire we recommend for all male candidates. Unless the employer recommends it, don’t bother wearing a business suit to a job interview.

Smart Casual Dressing Is Booming

My Business Casual Interview Outfit – Rent the Runway Employee

Showing up to an interview is not like showing up for coffee with your friend, and it shouldnt look that way, says Harrison. Its a big deal, its a tryout.

If youre not quite sure what to wear, leaning on the smart casual category is helpful. For men, that could mean a neutral button down shirt no blazer needed paired with ironed chinos and loafers, while women can rely on a long-sleeved blouse in a subtle pattern and neutral-colored pants with a ballet flat or low heel. Its a light and fun style, but still professional and put together. Harrison suggests keeping the makeup looking clean and nail polish neutral to play it safe.

I think dressing how you want to be perceived is great and dressing for the next job you want to get is awesome because I think thats going to make you show up polished and looking great.

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Strategies For Figuring Out How People Dress For Their Jobs

As a job seeker, you’re constantly doing research on companies, recruiters, positions, and salaries. And when the day comes that you finally get the email or phone call that you’ve landed an interview, you should continue to do research and prepare as best you can!

There are a few ways to determine what to wear to an interview. I’ll outline three strategies you can use below.

What Colours Should People Wear To Interviews

The best colours for an interview are neutral, like black, navy blue, gray or brown. White is a good shade for a simple shirt or blouse, and you can add other feature colours to your interview outfit to showcase your personality. Colours convey emotion and impact subconscious thoughts, so choosing a shade that gives interviewers a good impression is important. Here are some of the most common colour choices for interview outfits and what they convey:

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Two Examples Of Good Job Interview Outfits For Men

If you want to make a great impression during a job interview, pick the outfit that matches the job and the company dress code. We mentioned above how critical it has become to fit in with the company vs. trying to stand out.

So, what qualifies as a good job interview outfit for men? We strongly believe that all male job candidates should narrow the type of attire choices to either business casual or business formal. As we explained above, the direction you choose should be based on the job you’re seeking, the dress code of that position within the company you’re applying to, and the region you work.

Here are a few general guidelines and business casual and business formal samples.

Other Things To Consider Despite The Outfit

Best Casual Fall Women Work Outfits For Job Interview 33

Job interviews require you to put in the effort and have an eye for detail to stand out from the competition.

Getting the right outfit is just one step toward a successful interview.

You also need to ensure the little things work in your favor, such as neatly ironed clothes.

In addition, avoid putting on too much cologne, as it might give the interviewer a headache.

Obviously, hair is important. Even a neat-looking outfit doesnt look neat with untidy hair.

Cut your nails because that says a lot about a person. The same goes for shoes and how clean they are.

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Strategy #: Ask Your Recruiter Or Someone Who Works At The Company

If you’ve made it to the interview stage, you’re probably in touch with someone at the company who is handling logistics. That could be an external recruiter, in-house HR, or a hiring manager. Regardless, definitely feel free to ask them what you should wear to your interview it’s a totally normal question that they should be happy to answer.

Here’s a quick email template you can use:

Email Template: How To Ask About Interview Attire

Hi ,

I am very excited to come in and meet the team on . I did have one quick question for you what should I plan to wear to the interview? I want to make sure I’m showing up the right way and I always feel like it’s better to ask than assume.

Thank you so much for the help.


If they give you a vague answer like, oh whatever you wear to work is fine, you can always follow up and ask them to be more specific or you can reach out to another person who works at the company and see what they think.

If hoodies and sneakers are cool at your office but their dress code is a bit more formal, things can get awkward. Making sure the expectations are set early is the best way to go here!

What Isnt Business Casual

OK, so now you know what to wear, but its equally important to understand what not to wear. Under no circumstances should you wear clothes with offensive slogans or graphics, or clothes that are inappropriately tight or revealing.

Additionally, steer clear of ripped jeans, flip-flops, crop tops, sweats, shorts or yoga pants. Again, if youre still unsure, best to check with your supervisor on the companys approved dress code.

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Types Of Job Interviews

Some companies hold multiple rounds of job interviews starting with a virtual interview for screening purposes. The kinds of attire that hiring managers expect candidates to wear may vary according to the particular interview being conducted. According to Career Tool Belt, business casual is a popular choice for initial Zoom interviews or when interviewing in person with companies that allow casual dress in the workplace.

If youre being interviewed over Zoom, you may wear an outfit that is less formal than a suit, but still appropriate for a business office. Hiring managers may specify how to dress for a virtual interview. If not, choose an outfit thats a little more formal than what you would normally wear when working remotely if you were offered the position.

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Dressing for: Work, Interview, Business Casual and Special Occasion

While it seems were all leaning into this mass casualization both in the workplace and at home, it doesnt necessarily extend to prospective new employees, or those within the interview process.

When I started my agency in 1997, it was such a different time, says Elizabeth Harrison, CEO and founder of H& S, who estimates that shes interviewed hundreds of people at all different levels of management, from SVPs to interns. I would say the expectation of how people show up for an interview has evolved. Being neat and well put together is still very important, but whats changed is what connotes neat and put together is a lot wider now.

This evolution of business casual, as well as our societal shift towards greater inclusivity, means that many offices, from corporate to creative, have thrown out a lot of the outdated rules in favor of new ones that reflect our collective push for awareness and acceptance.

As bosses and CEOs, weve had to help educate our junior managers who are hiring for the first time about expanding their preconceived notion of what the right look is because its changed, says Harrison. Not everyone has access to a designer bag or they might be wearing something interesting by a designer that youve never heard of. And you dont have to spend a lot of money to interview well, either you can go to Zara or H& M for more affordable options.

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What Is Business Casual

Although there isnt a universal definition for business casual , the dress code is typically regarded as semi-formal professional clothing. While less formal than traditional business attire, a business casual outfit should still come across as businesslike. The key to dressing business casual is to strike a balance between professional and a more relaxed, comfortable style.

Related: What To Wear To Work: Tips for 3 Types of Office Dress Codes

Three Outfit Protips For Before The Interview

At this point, you’ve likely selected what you’re planning on wearing to your job interview. It’s entirely possible that you are nervous, unsure of what questions to ask in an interview . Don’t worry those are normal feelings. But, you don’t want to make things worse by having some unexpected issues pop up especially if you can avoid them through some proactive measures.

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Assemble Your Business Casual Interview Attire

If the word casual is still throwing you for a loop, consider the delineation outlined by The Interview Guys:

  • Smart casual is the most relaxed classification, where you can get away with wearing jeans, a collared shirt, a solid-colored T-shirt or sweater and gym shoes.
  • Executive casual is the next most casual, where dress slacks, a button-up, dress shirt, blazer and dress shoes are the norm.
  • Business casual puts you right in the middle, with only the blazer or sport coat being a matter of some debate. But the consensus is: Wear the blazer. It will polish your appearance. And if by some chance you’re drawn into an impromptu free-throw contest, you can always remove it. But at least you’ll have it as you talk face to face with the interviewer. It may even imbue you with a measure of confidence you’ll look the part and feel like it, too.

Taking it from the top, then, Work Near You suggests a casual ensemble that includes:

  • A navy or gray blazer since contrasts look appealing, wear a navy blazer with light or medium gray trousers and a gray blazer with navy trousers
  • A light-colored, button-down shirt with a collar, free of a tie
  • Black or navy socks
  • Matching black shoes as your mother may have told you, belts and shoes should always be the same color, and she was right.

Next Steps For Getting More Out Of Your Interview Experience

White Coat Wardrobe

Once youâve settled on your interview attire, remember to reserve plenty of time to prepare thoroughly for the conversation youâll have with the prospective employer. This can include researching the company, crafting STAR method stories about your professional experience, and preparing questions to ask the interviewer.

As you continue your job search, itâs a good idea to build strong interviewing skills to draw upon along your career path.

Set yourself up for success in your next interview with The Art of the Job Interview from Big Interview on Coursera. Learn more about non-verbal communication, mistakes to avoid, how to analyze job descriptions, and more.

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Checking The Business Dress Code For What To Wear

If youre not sure what to wear to an interview, the website and social media pages of the company youre interviewing for can be informative, but not always. If you cant determine the organisations dress code, consider calling their human resources department. Explain to the HR representative that you have an upcoming interview with the company and want to know how you should dress.

You might think that this could go against you during the interview, but its most likely going to have a positive effect. An employer may even appreciate the fact you took the effort to find out how to dress suitably for the interview.

Another aspect of learning about the dress code is to consider the industry and the role youre applying for. An office job generally requires you to wear a suit with a skirt or trousers, or a tie and suit. Casual employment tends to be more relaxed with regard to dress codes, and managers may prefer interviewees to show up wearing business casual thats neat and clean.

Try not to assume that a business doesnt care about how you dress for an interview. Looking your best shows respect for the employer and that you care enough to to those responsible for hiring.

Related: How to prepare for an interview

Tip #1 Don’t Wait Till The Night Before To Do Laundry

Here is a scenario that can 100% be avoided. You’re aware on Monday that you are scheduled to attend an interview on Friday afternoon. You’re planning on wearing your white, button-down long sleeve shirt and navy-blue slacks. The problem is they are both dirty and need to be washed and ironed. Instead of doing this on Monday or Tuesday night, you’ll wait till Thursday to find out that you are out of laundry soap or dryer sheets.

Be proactive and do any laundry for items you need to wear during an interview at least 72 hours before the appointment.

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