Making a good first impression is one of your top priorities when you're going on a job interview. While knowing the job you're applying for backward and forward is a great first step toward that impression, looking the part plays a much bigger role than you think. Taking the time to pick out the appropriate outfit and accessories tells the interviewer that you're willing to go above and beyond, that you understand what your role at the company will be, and that you're a confident candidate. Whether you're applying to become the manager of a company or it's your first entry-level position, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to what to wear to an interview.
It's Better to Overdress than to Underdress
You've probably heard the phrase about dressing for the job you want. This means dressing up as though you already have this dream job and presenting yourself to the interviewer in this manner so that he or she doesn't have much trouble picturing you in the office. An entry-level Data Analyst isn't going to the dress the same way a cashier at a grocery store would, nor would they dress like the CEO of a corporation. If you're not sure what this entails, narrow your choices down to two outfits and opt for the least casual. While you don't want to wear your prom dress or a tuxedo to the interview, it's always best to overdress than to underdress.
Know the Company Culture
When your parents applied for jobs, knowing the company culture wasn't a top priority. These days, it can make or break you. For example, a trendy tech startup is going to have a different dress code as part of its company culture than a law office that's been around for a century. If you know someone who works there, find out what they wore to their interview and what people typically wear to work. Online image searches and job forums may help if you don't know any employees. Once you have an idea of whether it's a casual jeans-and-tee type of a place or a business where employees typically show up in suits, use that for the basis to construct your own outfit.
Don't Go Too Bold
While you want to draw attention to yourself, doing so with a bold outfit isn't necessarily the way to go. Opt out of wearing loud colors, flashy prints, or anything distracting. Both men and woman should avoid going overboard with accessories, and makeup should be conservative. Skip the perfume and cologne in favor of soap and deodorant. What may seem like a light scent to you could overpower the interviewer and distract this person from what's important.
Opt for Comfort
No matter what you choose, try it on before the big day to make sure it feels good. If it's something you already own, it may no longer fit. Pay attention to the weather to make sure your outfit won't leave you sweating or shivering while trying to discuss topics like digital marketing. Wear nice shoes, but make sure they fit and that you can walk long distances in them if necessary. The better you feel, the more confidence you can project.
Last but not least, get ready early, and double-check every inch of yourself before heading into the interview. You never know when you'll wake up and find that your white cat slept on your black shirt all night or that the dryer shrank your favorite dress.