What To Wear For Business Casual Interview
When you learn that your interview is more casual, that means you should follow a business casual dress code.
It does not mean that you should dress in a casual outfit you still need to be dressy. However, a business casual dress code means that you can ditch the suit jacket and perhaps even the tie.
Your shirt must be long-sleeved, either button-up or button-down.
In some cases, a polo shirt is also acceptable. Solid, neutral colors are best. Avoid patterns.
For an extra twist, you can also toss on a light, neutral color sweater.
Dress pants or chinos are both suitable options. However, darker pants look more professional, while chinos are slightly more casual.
Whichever style and color you choose, they must be well-fitting.
While you certainly dont want saggy pants, you also want to avoid pants that are too skinny-fitting. Trust me you wont be the only uncomfortable person in that scenario.
A tie isnt required, although it is a nice touch. However, if you are going for the dressier end of business casual, you can include a tie with your outfit. Its always better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure the color isnt flashy, no matter how relaxed the work environment is. Instead of a tie, you could wear a blazer, if youd rather.
Because black shoes are formal, you would look best wearing a pair of dark or medium brown shoes.
Of course, Oxford and derby shoes are still both excellent shoe style choices, but you could also add a pair of brogues for a stylish addition.
General Tips: Looking Polished
Dressing more formally for the interview than you would for the job itself is frequently the best choice.
Plan out your wardrobe well in advance. Make sure everything fits, and theres plenty of time for any cleaning or alterations. If wearing a tie is still new, learn a knot or two and practice.
If you plan to wear a skirt or dress, remember that youll be sitting for at least part of your interview. We recommend that your skirt be no more than 2 inches above the knee.
Dont let an ill-fitting suit send the wrong message. Find yourself a good tailor. The right one can make a $100 suit look like a million bucks.
Dont forget to remove the labels and any extra stitches on any new professional attire. Typically this stitching can be found on the pockets and side or back vents . Manufacturers add this so the clothing retains its tailored shape while people try it on.
If youre wearing a mens button-down shirt, knowing your measurements will help make sure youre getting shirts that fit you well.
Make sure youre comfortable in your clothes. If you want to wear a suit, but arent used to it, find some excuses to wear it so you feel comfortable the day of your interview. The same goes for shoes if you get new ones, break them in so that youre not distracted during the interview.
Tips For Choosing What To Wear To An Interview
To land the part, you have to look the part. When preparing for your next interview, here are five tips to keep in mind to achieve proper interview dress code.
Video advice: How To INTERVIEW For An INTERNAL POSITION How To Get The Job & Navigate The Awkwardness!
Suit and tie or other professional garb may not always be the best route to go. Some jobs simply dont require formal attire. Remember, you are painting a picture of the type of candidate you are with the interview dress code. The best way to avoid embarrassment is research. Talk to local recruiters and college education centers. They know the industry and will guide you in appropriate dress.
- Dress better than the guy next to you.
- Dress the part.
- Stay comfortable.
Dust off those dress clothes and polish your shoes, time to get ready for an interview! Dressing the part is just as important as writing a resume or cover letter. The interview or a job fair is where your hard work pays off and you get the chance to put on a show. Choosing your interview attire to keep in line with todays dress code, is much like playing poker. Reading the cards, knowing the players and cultivating a winning hand are all part of the process.
You May Like: What Are The Interview Questions For Managers
What To Wear: Finishing Touches
Find a full-length mirror to appraise your final look.
Well-chosen accessories can help you stand out and can add a splash of color.
If you wear a tie, the knot should be centered under your chin. As for color/pattern, coordinate with the rest of your outfit so that it doesnt clash. Ties with smaller patterns and darker colors look more authoritative and more conservative.
If wearing jewelry and/or makeup, do what is comfortable for you. If you dont usually, but want to do so for an interview go for minimal and conservative so that you dont feel distracted and uncomfortable.
Be cautious about wearing perfume/cologne as many people have allergies and its easy to overdo.
Extend your polished look to your outerwear and the bag you bring. Consider a trench coat or a wool pea coat. Use a portfolio case, attache bag, or light briefcase for your resume copies, notepad, questions, etc.
Make sure you can walk in your shoes and that they match your outfit. If you choose to wear high heels, we recommend they be no more than 2 inches.
Putting It All Together
Ultimately, figuring out what to wear to an interview doesnt have to be a challenge. With the tips above, you can head in the right direction. Just consider the standards for that workplace, and aim slightly above. Or, when in doubt, aim for somewhere between executive casual and business formal. If you do, youll probably be in great shape.
Also Check: How To Have A Great Job Interview
Business Formal Interview Outfit Examples For Women
This is admittedly my least favorite category. Let’s be honest it takes a lot more effort and it’s not as easy to stick to my comfort rule in formal attire. But it’s possible. I promise!
Thanks to evolving fashion trends, women have much better Business Formal options than we used to. The suits today look feminine and dare I saytrendy? Ok, trendy may be stretching it a bit, but at least you can wear a suit without engulfing yourself in shoulder pads and excess fabric.
For anyone who doesn’t wear pants, Business Formal can extend to pencil skirts or dresses + a blazer. And if you don’t want to purchase these formal clothing items, Rent the Runway is a great option. You can rent a Business Formal outfit instead of buying expensive clothes that will probably sit in the back of your closet for an eternity after your two hour interview.
Women’s Outfit Example #1
Top: Blazer + white button down
Bottom: Cropped dress pants that match the blazer
Shoes: Tailored flats
Accessories: Opt for simple gold or silver pieces. Earrings and a watch will do.
This is a pretty standard formal interview outfit. You can’t go wrong with basic black and white. Also, don’t be afraid to wear flats! Especially if heels kill your feet. There are plenty of flats out there that look nice enough to pair with Business Formal attire.
Women’s Outfit Example #2
Bottom: Dress pants that match the blazer
Shoes: Black pumps
Accessories: You know the drill pick a few pieces and keep it simple!
Attire For Summer Job Interview
Are you looking for a summer job? Usually, these jobs dont require a professional outfit and are more casual. So, you may skip your suit for such interviews. However, to appear professional and polished, your outfit needs to have some balance.
You may pick an outfit that allows you to stay sweat-free and cool during the interview. Your best picks would be the garments made out of lightweight fabrics. You may even choose a dress or skirt to beat the soaring summer heat while making you look sophisticated.
However, stay away from too much skin show, as it can appear unprofessional. Also, pick light-colored clothes over dark shades for that perfect summery vibe.
Read Also: How To Write Email After Interview
General Rules For Picking What Clothes To Wear For An Interview
Suppose youre working in an IT firm that annually hosts Awards events to recognize their best employees. For this years event, the HR team sends you a dress code to wear a cocktail casual outfit but you have no idea what that means.
Being a woman, you must be wondering what dress to wear, what color to pick, what length is appropriate, etc. Then youll again be confused with the word casual with the cocktail dress. So, what should you do?
Well, its not that complicated as you may think. When selecting the right outfit for any special event, it is typical to over-analyze. But choosing something comfortable yet chic is the best way to leave a good impression on others.
When it comes to the interview attire for men and women, you must follow one rule to never look out of place.
Youd rather wear a suit to a workspace full of jeans and hoodies than wearing a T-shirt into an office with people full of pantsuits and polished leather shoes.
If you are dressed too formal, it is easier to dress down by removing your blazer, loosening up your hair, etc. But if you are dressed too casual for a formal interview, its not possible to dress up right in a jiffy.
Another thing to keep in mind is that get in touch with some employees of a company or search online about the work culture of an organization where youre going for a job interview.
So, these were some basic rules to dress up for a job interview.
Skirts And Dresses That Are Too Short
Choose the appropriate length when wearing a skirt or dress to your interview. For instance, knee-length and longer are common lengths that are appropriate for both business casual and formal dress code requirements. You can test the length of your attire easily by standing up in your apparel and placing your arms straight down at your sides. If the hem of your dress or skirt reaches your fingers or is longer, it is usually appropriate to wear for your interview.
Read Also: How To Prepare For A Star Interview
What Accessories Can I Wear With My Formal Job Interview Clothing
- Limited jewelry is appropriate. Avoid large and flashy jewelry items.
- Clean, manicured nails are important and a neutral colored nail polish is appropriate.
- Wear light make-up and make sure your hair is neat and tidy.
- A portfolio or briefcase is useful for carrying the necessary documents to your interview. Avoid large bags that require you to rummage around in to find anything!
- Keep your accessories simple and understated.
Men’s formal interview attire accessories
- A non-flashy, non-glittering watch with one ring is appropriate for men to wear.
- Cuffs with one or two buttons are a good option. Cufflinks can be regarded by some interviewers as overdoing it so avoid wearing them. If you only have a shirt without buttons you can wear understated cufflinks.
- You can show some personality by adding a good quality tie that portrays a sense of your own style while toning in with the outfit.
- Ties with diagonal stripes, a solid color or a subtle pattern arebest. Avoid wild patterns and colors that can prove too distracting for the interviewer.
- Men’s shoes should be clean and polished and a dark color that blends with the suit.
- Socks should be sufficiently long that the skin is not exposed when you sit down. Conservative colors that are appropriate include dark gray, black and dark blue.
Attire For A Business Interview
Formal attire makes you look polished and professional no matter what position you are seeking.
This means that for business interviews, you must always look well-dressed, neat, and tidy.
Generally, a business dress code is basic and conservative.
So, keep your latest fashion trends saved for the weekend hangouts with your friends and wear something thats office-appropriate.
A pencil skirt or tailored pants with a solid color shirt and blazer is an excellent choice.
When it comes to picking the right colors, choose dark grey and navy because both these tones are subtle and more approachable compared to black.
Read Also: How To Interview A Web Developer
Steer Clear Of Graphic T
Even if youre passionate about music, try not to wear band tees to an interview. You may be interviewing at an organization that follows casual workwear. Even then, because your interview is your first meeting, always go formal. You can never go wrong with a pair of pants and a formal shirt. The more polished you look, the better your impression.
Attire For Casual/informal Interview
Whats the proper interview attire for women for a casual or informal work environment?
For such an office environment, you can wear business casual outfits that are less formal compared to a proper suit.
However, they make you appear more polished and professional than a T-shirt, jeans, or a sundress and casual sandals.
Obviously, you must know the dress code before deciding that business casual is acceptable. If youre in doubt, call the office to confirm the appropriate dress code from an administrative coordinator or the person who scheduled the interview.
Try to dress more professionally than other employees at the firm so that you make a good first impression. For instance, if everyone in the office wears a T-shirt and shorts or jeans, you may wear khakis and a button-down shirt.
If youre going for an interview with a startup company, you want to appear professional and appropriate but not very formal.
So, instead of wearing a formal black suit and polished leather shoes, opt something more relaxed and presentable like relaxed-fit jeans, khakis, and an elegant top.
Recommended Reading: How To Prepare For A Manager Interview
Take Note Of The Company Culture
One tip is gauging the culture of the company youre applying to. Is it a startup with a casual vibe? Or is it a Fortune 500? Each of those has unique styles. That said, regardless of the company, you should always look your best and dress respectfully and professionally. If its an in-person interview, even if its a tech start-up, business casual is the least formal you should wear to an interview. For more formal interviews, dress in a full business suit and present your best self to your future employer.
Gender Neutral Dress For An Interview
Gender neutral interview outfits also fall along the professional, business casual, and casual spectrum. And many of the above suggestions work no matter how you decide to dress or what you want to wear.
For example, gender neutral options include pants, button-down shirts, polos, and blazers. The trick is to find clothing that looks nice on you and makes you feel good about yourself.
Your job interview attire should fit just right for your body and style. Whatever you wear shouldnt be too large or small. Likewise, it shouldnt be tight or baggy. If youre unsure about a color palette, neutral colors like black, beige, blue, gray, and off-whites are always a safe bet.
You May Like: What To Email Someone After An Interview
How To Style Knitwear For Interviews
To style your knitwear for a job interview, you can pair a button-down shirt or a blouse with a V-neck sweater. You may even dress up your top with a black skirt or dress pants. For dressing it down, choose dark wash jeans or khakis if you are going for an interview at a casual startup or company.
The best thing about formal wear and V-neck pullover is that its very easy to style with very few pieces. So, even if you have only three simple button-downs or blouses and two to three sweaters coordinating with the blouses or shirts you can create so many different office attires. All you need to do is mix and match your sweaters and shirts with different bottoms and youre good to go.
When styling knitwear, dont be scared of prints. While its recommended to avoid some flashy or too bright prints, like animal prints, a simple two-tone print can make your simple outfit appear more interesting yet professional for a job interview.
Thats a wonderful way to style your office-wear, especially for a formal work environment. If you want to wear boldly printed knitwear, just limit it to only one print and keep the rest of your attire very minimal and subdued.
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.
Best Job Interview Hairstyles
There are lots of ways to style your hair for a job interview. While some options are trendy and others are more traditional, remember that your hairstyle should not distract the employer. You will want your hair to be professional and polished, like your entire outfit.
Here are the best job interview hairstyles for short, medium-length, and long hair.
Formal Job Interview Attire
Know the appropriate job interview attire for a conservative and more formal work environment.
A number of companies fall into this category including banking, accounting, insurance, law and finance. If you are interviewing for a professional position take a formal approach to your choice of interview clothes.
Demonstrate your ability to fit in with the company culture.
Read Also: Missouri Food Stamp Interview Phone Number