I have interviewed thousands of candidates during my career as a recruiter. I can tell you from experience that the way you dress for the interview will either move you forward or set you back from the other candidates.
Overdressing or underdressing for an interview can have devastating results. With dress codes varying from company to company, it is getting harder and harder to determine what the best rules for dressing for the interview are. It is important to make sure that you are dressed appropriately for each interview you do. The question is how do you know what their dress code is?
Dressing in a suit where the culture is jeans and t-shirts can hurt your confidence during the interview. Your purpose is to show that you fit into the environment. Overdressing can leave the wrong impression with the interviewer and the employees in the company.
On the opposite side, under dressing can be a game breaker as well. Showing up for the interview dressed in jeans and a t-shirt when the company dress code is business casual has the same effect. It can also give the wrong impression that you really do not care about the interview.
Some simple tips on finding out what the dress code are below
- Check the company website
- Find employees on LinkedIn to see what they are wearing
- Look at the company Facebook Page
- Ask the HR person when they set up the interview
- If all else fails, contact the receptionist and explain the situation. She/he will probably be happy to help you out.
Doing any of the above and showing up to the interview appropriately dressed shows that you have initiative, pay attention to detail and care about yourself and the company you want to represent.
Now some tips for dressing for success.
- Do not wear shorts, short skirts or low-cut shirts. Skirts should be knee length and capris may or may not be acceptable. I would suggest staying away from capris during the interview, if they are acceptable you can wear them when you get the job
- Clothing should not be too baggy or too tight
- Wear something comfortable
- Your hair should be clean and groomed (this would include facial hair)
- Do not wear perfume or cologne. Many people have allergies and will not be able to complete the interview.
- Do not chew gum or candies during the interview
- Shoes should be in good condition, not scuffed.
The best piece of advice I can give you is do your research and dress for success. I tell my candidates that they should always dress one level above what the dress code is. So if the company is a casual environment, I suggest that they wear slacks and a nice top. Whether you are interviewing for a labour position or a CEO position, the way you dress will affect your confidence. Dressing appropriately will give you the mental edge you need to perform well during the interview.
Do you have any interview dress code horror stories?