Interviewers know that the most career-minded people aren’t fashion victims. At the same time, dressing well and appropriately gives you an undeniable edge.
Suits are de rigueur for interviews, but some styles perform better. Err on the conservative side. The best professional look is stylish yet restrained.
Do not skimp on quality. From the fabric to the details, a quality suit bespeaks your style, taste and socioeconomic status.
TIPS FOR WOMEN
1. Black or navy suits.
You will look good and while proclaiming that you’re there to work. It’s understated, slims your figure, and transcends seasons. If it’s a non-suit environment, try a blazer.
2. Be current.
Suits do go out of style, so be mindful of styles that take you back ten years.
3. Conservative vs liberal.
Even in the most liberal environment, dressing a bit better helps you stand out. For an ultra-conservative workplace, dress in skirt suits. For a more open environment, a pair of men’s style gaberdine pants, a cool satin shirt, and a cardigan may work just as well. When in doubt, however, wear a skirt suit.
4. Shoes are revealing.
The old stand-by black pumps with sub-two-inch heels are best. For a more relaxed environment, you can look chic in weekend casual loafers too.
Limit jewelry to a classic band watch.
6. Bag it.
Bags are just as revealing as shoes. Stay with simple silhouette bags.
7. Be brief.
When it comes to briefcases, don’t be one of the boys. Go for a more current stylish tote bag or oversize handbag.
8. Be made up.
Do wear natural-looking makeup. Being compeletely devoid of makeup is a sign that you do not care enough about yourself. And no loud perfumes.
Leave out hair accessories if you have short hair, and for long hair, wear it as a ponytail at the nape of the neck to exude a clean, classic look.
10. Wear self-confidence.
TIPS FOR MEN
1. Black or navy suits.
Suits are the ultimate work investment but be mindful of outdated details like the shape and size of the lapels, number of buttons, and fabric. For example, 4-button European suits may be a bit too much flair for a conservative company.
2. Be crisp.
Wear freshly pressed, crisp white shirt. Collar type depends on the work environment. Try button-downs only for more relaxed workplace.
3. Tie it altogether.
For a clearly non-suit environment, a tie is overkill, but for structured, a silk tie with no discernable patterns in clearly defined, yet non-overtly-threatening colors are most suitable.
4. Be polished.
Polished shoes are a must. For ultra-conservative careers, pay attention to details like the number of eyelets on the shoes. 4-5 are standard, and fewer or more are considered too trendy. Stay black.
5. Be clean.
A grungy look never works no matter how relaxed the environment. Well trimmed hair with a cleanly shaven face are musts.
6. Wear a watch.
7. Wear enthusiasm but don’t overdo it. Be yourself.