Updated: Nov 7
When you think of a job interview, it is easy to get overwhelmed. You want to look professional, but not overdressed. You want to be confident, but not cocky. And you want to be prepared, but not nervous.
You can’t control what happens during the interview itself, but you can control what you wear. By dressing appropriately, you’re sending a message that says, “I am a professional who knows how to make a good first impression.”
Here are some tips from Grand Cleaners Dry Cleaners on appropriate dress to an interview:
Find job photo created by ijeab via FreePik
First Things First: Know Your Audience!
Before we dive into appropriate dress to an interview, it’s important to consider who you’re interviewing with and what kind of environment you’ll be walking into.
For example, if it’s a small company or start-up with only one or two employees, then it may not have an official dress code policy in place as larger companies do. Or, if it does have one, it might be more casual than strict business attire.
When in doubt, dress as if you were going to church or a funeral (depending on the type of work you'll be doing). Wear conservative colors such as black, navy blue, or gray. Men should wear a dark suit with matching shoes and a tie; women can wear it.
Dresses that are too short or tight, low-cut necklines, clothing with offensive slogans or pictures, ripped jeans, flip flops, baggy pants, and anything else that makes you look sloppy or unprofessional.
These kinds of things will definitely hurt your chances of getting hired by an employer. Business suits with skirts or pantsuits.
Business photo created by Drazen Zigic - via FreePik
Avoid anything that could potentially distract from your personality during an interview – even if it was unintentional! If you have a really cool tie or belt buckle, keep them in your closet until after the interview has taken place!
Avoid loud jewelry
You want to look professional, not flashy or gaudy. A simple watch and small earrings are fine; more than that isn't necessary unless it's part of your uniform or required by your company's dress code.
This means no bright colors or large earrings. Keep your focus on yourself and not on your accessories by wearing minimal jewelry pieces such as simple necklaces or stud earrings only.
Make sure that whatever clothing item you are wearing is appropriate for the setting and situation. Jeans may be fine at a restaurant but won’t fly at a formal dinner party where everyone else will be dressed up nicely.
No Jeans or Shorts
Even if the company culture is casual or laid-back, it’s always best practice to appropriate dress to an interview. Jeans and shorts should be reserved for casual Fridays (if they exist) or after-hours social events with coworkers — not for job interviews!
Unless you are applying for a position as an artist or graphic designer (or perhaps at a coffee shop), avoid wearing t-shirts with sayings or logos on them during your interview — even if they are ironic!
While it might seem like a fun way to show off your personality, it can actually end up detracting from the interview process.
Wear Suits That Fit Properly
A suit that fits properly looks good on anyone — even if it doesn't look like it was made for them!
When trying on a suit jacket, make sure that your shoulders fit well (they shouldn't slip off easily), that the sleeves are long enough so they don't bunch up around your wrists, and that there's enough space between your neck and the collar so you can put on a tie without choking yourself.
If the item is only slightly too big or too small, assume it will be noticed and leave it at home. Dark colors aren't necessarily bad — they just need to fit well and look clean on you (which means no rips or stains).
And don't forget about the hemline! Dark pants that drag on the ground or a skirt that's too short can make you look sloppy rather than stylishly dressed up for an interview.
Whether you go for a higher-end suit or a more casual look, the clothes you wear will make a big difference in how your interviewers perceive you. So be sure to use the tips from this blog and the services from Grand Cleaners so you can look your best for that all-important interview.
Check out our post on how to enlist the services of a professional wedding dress cleaner for your big day!