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The Interview Style Guide: 8 Rules to Follow



More often than not, a job interview is your first time meeting a potential employer. Statistics show that you have only 7 seconds to make a first impression. A crucial piece of making a good first impression is dressing right for your interview. However, it can often feel a bit tricky to select an interview outfit when the rules seem so ambiguous.

The rules listed below are the key to guide your decision making as you work on figuring out what you will wear for your interview. Here are 8 rules to follow to ensure that you wear the best interview outfit possible:

1. Be Comfortable

Be sure that you keep this rule in mind from the get-go. If you are not comfortable in your interview then it is unlikely that you will be able to focus on why you are there. As a result of wearing uncomfortable clothing, you could end up feeling distracted or less confident in your interview. This could cause a chain reaction that leads to a poor interview performance. Staying comfortable in the fabrics and fits you select for your interview is the base for having a successful interview.

2. Research the Company

Before you begin to daydream about your interview outfit, do a quick Google search. Unless you know someone in the company or are very familiar with the company, this will be your way to learn what is appropriate for an interview. Each business is unique in what they require from employees. Some businesses prefer a more formal business style while others like casual attire.

Look on Google and social media to get a feel for what people wear to work at the company. Search for things like the company dress code and culture to find what the overall feel of the company is. Looking on external sites can help you get a perspective from past or current employees which can be very helpful when deciding what to wear.

3. Dress Nicer Than Your Interviewer

Once you know the dress code at the company, level it up. You should always come to an interview feeling like you are dressed a little nicer than your interviewer. This shows commitment and interest in the job, since you were willing to go above and beyond for the interview.

However, this does not mean to show up in a formal tuxedo for an interview. This would just be embarrassing. This tip does not mean that you should go overboard, it means that you should dress just a little nicer than your interviewer.

4. Simplicity is Your Friend

Keep things simple for your interview outfit. This includes all elements of your outfit: Hair, make-up, perfume, and clothing.  Neutral colors are essential to a solid interview outfit. Be careful when applying perfume, since h3 smells can cause allergic reactions for some. Overall, its best just to lay low in terms of your wardrobe.

Being over-the-top with your interview attire and appearance has the potential to be off-putting for your potential employer. It is better to let what’s truly important take the stage on this day. Let your work experience and skills be the focus of your interview.

5. Don’t Be Noticeable

You might have been a little shocked when reading that. Isn’t being noticeable the whole purpose of a job interview? Not quite. You want to be memorable, not noticeable. Your goal should be to be remembered for your personality, accomplishments, and experience. This is what will truly land you a job, not being the girl who showed up to the interview wearing a bright yellow and orange polka dot dress. Make it your goal to remember what is most important during your interview as you go to select an outfit.

6. Be Clean & Wrinkle-Free

When going to select what pieces you will include in your outfit, only pick items that are stain-free, easy to iron, and appear clean. Quickly look over your items before selecting them to ensure that they meet all these criteria. Iron out any wrinkles. Make sure that the items that you select do not wrinkle too quickly, since this could be more of an issue in a stressful interview.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but you should also be sure to wear well-fitting clothes. Having clothes that are not too tight and not too baggy ensures that you appear presentable and put-together for your interview. Keep things clean and polished for your interview.

7. Get Everything Set Out the Day Before

The day before your interview you should get everything that you need set out. This gives you the opportunity to see everything together again, look over your clothing to make sure there is nothing wrong with it, iron out any last wrinkles, and ensure that you do not forget anything important. This is a key step that avoids any last-minute stress of trying to throw things together.

8. Make a Backup Plan

As you plan for the big day, you need to have an extra plan if something goes wrong. If you follow all the tips here, especially laying things out the day before, it is unlikely that something will not go according to plan. However, if something does go awry you should have an extra set of clothing as a backup. There are always external factors (like weather) that could mess with your interview outfit. If you will drive to your interview, bring an extra outfit along in your car just in case of a random turn of events. While it is not practical to bring an extra outfit in every case, when it is convenient and realistic to bring a backup, it is not a bad idea.

Wrapping Up

With so much to prepare for and stress about when it comes to interviews, take one thing off your plate by following all the steps listed here! If you follow all these tips then there is no way that you can go wrong in what you wear to your interview. Need more advice on interview outfit styles and outfit ideas? Here is a great walkthrough of interview outfits for women.

Best of luck with your upcoming interview! You will do great!

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