What To Wear To An Interview

By Mike Simpson

Give yourself a pat on the back.  After all…

You did it!

Only a week ago you got that call that you had a job interview coming, and a long, stressful preparation lay ahead of you.

“What do I need to study?  What questions am I going to be asked?  And what the heck is a behavioral interview question?“, are just some of the questions you probably asked yourself.

But guess what?  You figured it out, maybe even with a little help from The Interview Guys!

OK, so no what?

Well, you’re not quite at the finish line yet because you’ve yet to actually have your interview, which means you’ve yet to make your first impression.

And what’s (unfortunately) the biggest part of a first impression?  Well the way you look, naturally.

Making A First Impression

This world is in many ways a wonderful place.  Unfortunately, one thing that we haven’t been able to fully grasp as a species is that there is almost always more than meets the eye regarding someone’s appearance, and to take the cliche one step further, one shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover”

In other words, when it comes to your job interview, it DOES matter how you dress and how you present yourself because your first impression is going to go a long way in determining how well you fit in with the company.

Why bring this up?

Well, because I don’t want you to waste any time or brain power banging your hands on the table or shouting from the hilltops about how unfair, insensitive or inappropriate this is.

It just IS THE WAY IT IS unfortunately.

So now that we can both agree on that, the most important question is “What do we do about it?”

Make The Hiring Manager “See” You In The Position

This is your ultimate goal, and should define how you present yourself in the interview.

You want the hiring manager to subconsciously (or hopefully consciously) visualize you as a part of the team already, and your appearance is the first thing they will analyze when making this consideration.

So think about this…

If you’re applying for a job where you’re expected to be a door-to-door Bible salesman, it might not be in your best interest to show up to your interview dressed like a dominatrix.

Now, this is an extreme example, but you get the picture.

You want to try and get a feel for the work environment and dress accordingly.  Here are some categories of dress along with their corresponding industries:

  • Conservative: Corporations, financial institutions, accounting firms, law offices.
  • Business Casual: Sales, government agencies, education, retail, small companies, information tech, engineering, real estate.
  • Casual: Construction. repair, landscaping, plumbing and any other job where you may get dirty (obviously).
  • Creative/Fashionable: Fashion, entertainment, graphic design, video game design, music.</